Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012

Instead of sleeping in, as I normally would when I'm emotionally exhausted, I woke up early and attended my 5am Fit Body Boot Camp class.  It was funny because the only people there were our fitness instructor, myself, and one other person.  It felt good to start today this way.  Afterwards, we stretched and discussed how I despise the month of January and February because of people's New Year resolutions to exercise.  They crowd my fitness and yoga classes making it too close for comfort.  Don't get me wrong.  I applaud those who make the choice to add fitness to their daily life.  I just don't like it when they encroach on my fitness routine.  :) Selfish...I know.

After the workout, I returned home to begin my day with my healthy breakfast of oatmeal and a hot cup of yummy coffee.  I relaxed, hoping that I would be tired enough to take a nap before taking on my day of pampering, making art, and preparing for a nice evening with my family.  In the past, I used to spend New Year's Eve making a final piece of art for the year.  I haven't done that in a while.  Maybe I will get that chance today.  I did finish creating 3 new Mizzles.

This year I'm staying home...well, my second home. I thought with the news we received earlier in the week about my dad that it would be best to spend tonight with family.  I don't believe in making New Year's resolutions.  They are created with the intentions of changing one's self.  Although, to change is well intended, but we are creatures of habit and I feel it is best to spend the time to acknowledge who we truly are and create realistic goals.  I haven't really come up with goals for myself, but I will soon.  At the moment, I am hoping 2013 brings me new worthwhile friendships, stronger bonds with current true friends, an unbelievable amount of laughter, tons of new happy family memories, lots of art, maybe love, and a healthy, tumor-free dad.

To all of my Mizzle Adventures followers, fans, and greatest supporters, have a safe and fun New Year's Eve!  I wish all of you a happy, healthy, successful, and fulfilling 2013! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Be Stronger

I have been meaning to update this blog on a more regular basis.  I have been considering returning to my daily posts and daily drawings and see how long I can keep it going this year. But it has been very difficult to find things to be positive about right now.  I know life could always be worse and that our nature is to view the grass is greener on the other side. I find this scenario strange.  I've never had difficulty seeing others in difficult heartbreaking situations. I feel for them and can maintain an objective point of view where their hardships never took a toll on my own emotions. But to see my parents so vulnerable has taken such a toll on me.  I experienced this a little 2-3 years ago, when both parents lost their moms. I saw them in a completely different way.  I have always known my parents to be strong and unbreakable.  Losing their parents revealed the cracks.  Right now, those cracks are huge holes. They are both unbelievably strong, but now I see the fear in their eyes and hear the sad tone in their voices.  It is hard to see and hear the truth they worked so hard to keep from us.  I think I'm doing as well as I can be in this exhausting situation, but I'm tired of people's words of comfort "stay strong," or "be the strong Nadia I've always known you to be." What they don't understand is that I'm always the strong one.  I'm always the one people rely on.  I'm tired of "being strong."  For once, I would love for it to be okay for me to be fragile. This is where my art comes in.  My art, along with my cats, seem to understand my need for vulnerability. It is in my art I'm allowed to be whoever and however I want to be.  Art does not have an opinion.  It listens and it heals.
I began by creating a new drawing for my dad. For the past year, I have been creating charcoal drawings of old Native American photos. This is the 3rd of an on-going series.

I also made a painting for my best friend.  I wasn't sure what to create for her, so I just let the painting take control.  It turned out well and she loved it!  I found it interesting the words she used to describe it.  She said it made her feel hopeful, calm, and uplifted.  I also found it interesting her view of the fairy v. an angel.  She said an angel made her think of death, but a fairy made her feel hopeful. I kind of agree because fairies hold a child-like innocence.  I can't think of an instance where fairies are feared.  Angels on the other hand can be thought of as miracles, but can also be associated with death. 
I enjoyed the freedom I felt in creating the painting for my best friend that I decided to start another one.  Here is another, but it is still in progress.

I have this desire to work on specific projects, but I just can't seem to get myself to work on them.  I find myself looking for distractions or other projects to fulfill my need to create, but not the ones I should be working on.  I have just finished creating 3 new Mizzles and have a few more in progress.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I have noticed that every once in a while a theme(s) appears in my life.  Sometimes they are very subtle and I don't realize it existed until it has passed.  Then there are times, like now, where they are blatantly obvious.  This month's theme is "reflection."  It is time for me to sit down and look at where my path has taken me this year.  This last half of the year has definitely taken me a little off course. 

First of all, I'm unbelievably grateful for the life I have.  It is not perfect, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I love the challenges life throws at me and the people who come across my path.  I love the friends and family, who have strengthened me by showing me how much they believe in me.  I know my life would not be as colorful as it is without all of their wonderful personalities!

This year began on a positive note.  I began this blog and started my "well-intentioned," but not entirely realistic drawing a day.  I am proud to say that I lasted a lot longer than I had truly anticipated.  I figured I'd putter out around February, but it was around May that the daily drawings came to a halt.  The drawing became more difficult to complete daily because it was around that time things at work began to change.  My department chair announced his retirement and decisions had to be made.  I then took on the challenge of becoming department chair, teaching AP studio art, and I moved to a different classroom.

Changes didn't end there.  Some changes were not so good, but there were a lot that have been great.  The not so good news was my dad had a tumor in his liver.  He's doing well, but it looks like this is going to be on-going issue.  The great news began with my first nephew, Noah, being born on Friday the 13th!  He is an absolute cutie and is going to be extremely spoiled!  Then the unexpected happened.  As I prepared to attend the SCBWI summer children's conference, I was contacted by a representative from RawArtists.  They had found my ETSY shop and wanted me to participate in one of their shows.  To be honest, I was hesitant. I wasn't sure if my work was strong enough.  Also, they really loved my Mizzle dolls, and wanted them to be displayed in the showcase.  After talking to a friend, I decided that in participating in showcase I really had nothing to lose.  This led to a second show and being nominated as one of their Semi-finalists for their annual RAWards.  Although, Mizzle Adventures did not win at the competition, it was a great experience.  It showed me a few things.  One, how much I finally believe in myself and my artwork; Two, what I'm truly capable of achieving; and lastly, it made me realize I didn't have any idea of what kind of outcome I wanted from showcasing my work.  Originally, I just wanted allow the journey to take its own course and see where it would take me.  As much fun as that has been, I think it's time to make some more choices, but about my career as an artist.  What is it that I truly want to achieve as an artist?  And where do I want to see it take me?

The interesting part is that my school qualified to apply for distinguished schools. In addition, this means we are able to apply for another award, which is an Exemplary Arts Program.  For the past few weeks, my department and I have been putting together information about our department to apply for it. I didn't think writing this document would be as difficult as it has been.  I know we are a strong Visual and Performing Arts program, but it has made me notice that we don't have any particular goals for our department.  We don't have a true vision of where we want to go.  I think we have all shared ideas with one another about things we think would be great, but we have never put anything into effect.  I think we all have ideas of what we would like to see happen in our department, but we have never sat down together and verbalized it out loud. When this process is said and done, whether we win this award or not, it has been a great opportunity for us to reflect on the state of our department.  Now we can have a real conversation about short and long term goals for our department.

With 2012 coming to an end and 2013 peeking at us from the horizon, it is a good time for reflection.  It is the perfect time to look at our flaws with complete honest and to take the time to figure out what we need to do to make ourselves and our world better. It's a good time to be thankful and appreciative for what we have and the people in our lives.  And it is the time to make choices about our future.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Coloring Contest Winners

 For our first coloring contest, I am going to call it a success.  It was fun seeing all of the entries come in.  I am hoping to hold another ALL AGES coloring contest either for Valentine's or Easter.  So, stay tuned for updates!

Now for what everyone has been waiting for!  Here are the winners!

It was a difficult choice for my judge.  All of the entries were great! We didn't have any entries for the age category of 4 and under, so I transferred those prizes to the ages 5-11.

For Ages 18+ our winners are:
John, age 23
Jessica, Age 18

For Ages 12-17, the winners are:

Jeanine, Age 16

Geovanna, Age 17

Lastly, the winners for Ages 5-11 are:

Diego, Age 7

Logan, Age 7

Tais de, Age 11

Ryder, Age 8

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Coloring Contest Prizes

This is the last week to get your entries in for the Mizzle Adventures coloring contest.  You can either scan or take a photo of your entry and email it to  I'm looking forward to seeing all of the entries.  I thought I'd share with you some of the possible prizes for the coloring contest.

Possible Prints to choose from:

Mizzle Prizes:

Meet Fable. He is bee whisperer; listening to the cares and concerns of all bees. He loves to eat honey with lemon juice. In his spare time, he loves drawing lines in sand.

Meet Miss Lava. She is a Mizzle beauty pageant winner. Her personality resembles that of a Stepford house wife...perfect in every way. But secretly, she loves to play in mud.

Meet Lady Dragonfly.  She is a sophisticated Mizzle, who enjoys all of the finer things in life.  She folds napkins into cranes, lines her tea cup settings with doilies, and irons her curtains.  But when no one is looking, she loves to grab a hairbrush and sing to heavy metal songs in front of a mirror.

Meet Otis. He is an energetic Mizzle, who loves to cut silhouette portraits of people using extremely sharp scissors. He is faster than Edward Scissor Hands, and way cuter. In his free time, he enjoys taking long bubble baths and making bubble sculptures.

Meet Jamina. She loves to make up songs, which detail her daily activities. In her spare time, she enjoys helping bees collect honey.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Coloring Contest Update

I am beginning to get entries for the coloring contest. I am going to wait to post them, but I promise I will post all entries and the winners on this blog.  I am loving these entries!  I can't wait to see what else people have for me!

Just a reminder, you can download the images from

The last day to submit your entry is December 14th!

Good Luck!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Maggie Mizzle and her sidekick Hubbert

As a teacher, I am "supposed" to be neutral and not have favorites.  Well, I have completely failed at this because there are too many great kids, so I have favorites.  To those of you who have been one of my favorites in the past, no worries, you still hold a special place in my teaching world.  But, I do have an ultimate favorite at the moment.  Her name is Kimberly Vance.  She is one talented and ambitious kid. She is my art club president and is in my Intermediate Art class.  She has taken animation on our campus for 4 years.  Like every artist, she doubts her drawings and paintings, but continues to keep making art.  She has an open mind and is willing to give something a shot knowing that it is okay to fail. 

Knowing she is in love with animation, I had asked her if it was at all possible to create a simple animation of Larry Mizzle dancing a bit.  I didn't want color because I knew it would take longer.  She loved the idea and began working on it.  In 2 weeks, she created this cute 4 second animation of my character.  I am so in love with it!  I had it playing on my computer all day when she gave it to me.  I took her animation and added music.  He seemed to move so well to The Black Keys as he danced.  I had discovered something about Larry I had never knew before. He loves The Black Keys, but who doesn't, right?

In return I created a special Mizzle just for her.  She loves pigs!  I found socks with flying super pigs on them.  With them, I create Maggie Mizzle.

By Day, she is a farmer.  She mainly grows carrots, squash, corn, and acorns.  She loves pigs so much; she had pig faces tattooed onto her wings!  Her favorite hobbies are singing at tea parties, playing hide and seek with Hubbert, and teaching snails how to draw.

Hubbert is her pet pig that was rescued from being slaughtered, which is why he doesn't have ears or a tail.  But he is a happy little pig, who enjoys sleeping under the acorn tree, nibbling on corn, and discovering cures for diseases.

By night, Maggie becomes Super Pig and Hubbert become Sidekick Pig!  They are a duo super hero team who rescue pigs around the world from any type of harm.

Life Size Mizzle

I have had this idea in my head for about a year now.  It seemed a bit ridiculous because after I accomplish such a task what the heck would I do with the end result?  I have always thought it would be amazing to create a life size version of one of my original Mizzles.  Crazy, I know, but I've always imagined a room with a few life size dolls so kids can sit and read story books.  I never thought I'd actually find the time or motivation to attempt it.  But then I was announced as a semi-finalist for the RAWards.  I thought "this is it"!  This is where I go big!  So, I began by consulting with my best friend, who had made my Halloween costume.  I had questions.  Some were logistic and others were just questions of doubt.  I needed the reassurance that I could finish this in time. 

It all started with a doll and some fabric.  I realize that I should not pretend to know what I'm doing.  I don't know very much about sewing machines and found trouble at the beginning of my adventure.  I thought I couldn't go wrong with sewing stripes together, but I was wrong.  Bunching occurred and it took talking to many people and "googling" to fix the problem. 

Once I got the hang of it, things really began to pick up and taking form.  My excitement began to grow as each stripe added to the form.  But then at some point, it didn't look right.  It looked short and pudgy.  I had realized I mixed up my measurements.  Never debate between a 2" and a 2 1/2" strip.  I had multiplied some measurements differently, so he wasn't as proportionate.  It really helped stuffing him to see where I had gone wrong.  I had to take him in a few places to get his shape. 

The stuffing came from a failed art club project.  It had been sitting in our storage for over 4 years.  We wanted to use it up so rats wouldn't make it a home.  I wasn't quite sure if there would be enough to fill him up.  I actually had a little extra.

Creating his mouth was the most challenging part of the whole project.  My needles were too small and had to find a really long one.  Also adding the arms were a little difficult having to hand-stitch them on.

The buttons were created with air dry polymer clay.  They were fun to create and paint.

I think the best part of the process was watching my students' reactions each time they came into my classroom to find him put together a little more.  Unfortunately, they never did get to see the final product, but they were eager to hear about him.

Here is Life-size Larry chillin' on the couch with original Larry and Calico.
My mom and Life-size Larry at the Semi-finals Art Show!
Regardless of the struggles I had in creating this oversized Mizzle, I find myself eager to make another one.  I'm thinking Stargazer would make for a fun life-size adventure!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Coloring Contest

Coloring Contest

Choose one of the two images to color. Email entries to MIZZLEADVENTURES@GMAIL.COM. In the email, include the name and age of the artist. All entries must be received by Friday, December 14th, 2012. Only one entry per person!

Winners will be notified by email and displayed on my blog, by December 19th.

Award categories:
Ages 5-11
Ages 12-17
Ages 18 and older

Winners of each category will win a Mizzle doll or a Mizzle print!

There are links at You should be able to right click and save the images to your computer.  If you want the document, email me at MIZZLEADVENTURES@GMAIL.COM and I will reply to you with the image of your choice.  Make sure to let me know if you want the turkey or the christmas image.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Halloween Mizzle Style

I'm a little late with this blog, but Halloween and the zombie mizzle were both a success.  First, the zombie Mizzle...  It took a lot of trial and error before finally giving up on the bleaching process of the socks.  I had really hoped to fade out colorful patterned socks to make them into zombies.  Most of the socks didn't respond to the bleach, which I found absolutely amazing!  There was only one sock that faded, but it changed so little that the only way one could tell it was faded was by comparing it to the original.  I decided to just work with gray socks.  As I was sewing, I realized that showing my stitches gave an "undead" kind of feel to the doll.  I left some holes and allowed for some of the stuff to be exposed... kind of like seeing their insides. 
I think for my first attempt it didn't turn out too bad.  I might give it another go at a later date.

So we all know about my obsession with squirrels.  Well, it went a step further.  I was a squirrel for Halloween!  I think this was the most amazing costume I have ever worn and that is because it was made my one of my best friends!  She is an amazing seamstress!  It was a really warm costume too, so for most of the day I went without the head piece.  I had made the tail, but I think I need to play with it to make it stand up a bit more. 

I had a lot of fun being a squirrel.  It was hysterical!  Maybe next year, I can be an actual Mizzle... or have my friend be one!
One of my intermediate students was a monkey!
Best Bud and Co-Advisor dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nominated into the Semi-Finals for Orange County

Raw Artists has an annual award call RAWards.  The whole thing begins with 2 weeks of voting.  People get to vote every day for their favorite artists in the following categories: Visual arts, photography, music, fashion, make-up artists, accessories, hairstylist, performance art, and film.  Voting took place October 1st through October 15th.  Yesterday, they announced who made it to the semi-finals for each region...Mizzle Adventures was on the list for Orange County!

Now we are part of the Semi-finals showcase on November 17th.  It will be at the Avec Nightclub in Huntington Beach from 5-9pm.  All of those who attend get to vote for their favorite artists in each category.  The audience votes count for 50%.  The other 50% comes from the 3 judges who are asked to come down and look at our work.  By the end of the night, they will announce who are winners and will be moving on to the National level.

This is so exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time.  To top it off, I had signed up to do a Mud Run that day with one of my best friends.  :) We are currently making arrangements to change our wave time.  So, November 17th will be a typical over the top kind of day for me.  I think doing the Mud run in the morning will help alleviate any nervousness or stress I will feel that morning.  I've never really put myself out there like this.  It is all new and exciting. 

I want to make something specifically for this show.  I have a few things in mind, but I know the one thing I've wanted to make.  I don't think I should reveal it right now.  It will just be something for everyone to look forward to!

If you would like to attend the show, tickets are $15.  Make sure you list Mizzle Adventures as the artist you are planning to attend for.  Here is the link: 

I would appreciate the support!  And see your reaction to my project for the next month!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Zombie Mizzles- Part 2

Instead of my original sketch, I went with this idea instead.  It was just too disturbing to illustrate my Mizzles as dead cannibals.  But I did keep the dark and ghoulish look to them.  My Advanced Art students are enjoying the opportunity to watch my progress and my process.  They ask lots of questions about my techniques and my process.  Originally, I was only going to use watercolor.  But I decided since I am requiring my students to use watercolor and pen for their finals that I would do the same.
I used Grumbacher Miskit liquid frisket to mask my characters.  Then I painted a variety of washes of blues, greys, greens, and violets to create my background.  Honestly, I've never used a liquid frisket before.  I love the freedom to experiment with my background without ruining the main areas of my painting, but I did run into the problem of it ripping my paper as I removed it.  The paper was completely dry when I removed it.  Does anyone have any suggestions on a liquid frisket they love?  Or perhaps there is a technique I could use in removing it?

As for the zombie mizzle dolls, I am still trying to decide how to go about making them.  I have a visual in my mind as to how I think they should look, but am not sure how to go about it.  I need to go get some muted colored socks, or maybe bleach bright colorful ones I have to dull them out.  And then I need to just jump in and begin making it.  Until then, I did finish these guys today!  :)  They just need some eyes, names, and a small background story.

This is what they look like before stuffing!
Their cute back sides!

I'm including a photo of just their shells.  I had posted this image on my Facebook page and was a bit surprised how shocked people were by what they look like before being stuffed. It never occurred to me to show the process of one of the actual Mizzles.

It has been raining off and on today, so I'm feeling inspired to make more Mizzles or to get some more paintings started.

Monday, October 15th is the last day to vote for Mizzle Adventures at!  I hope you get a chance to vote!  And a big THANK YOU to those who did!