Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I have a piece of art to enter in this month's "Awfully Big Art Adventure" and a set of FREE background papers for you today...

...but first, a rant.

AS YOU MAY HAVE READ LAST MONTH (if you regularly follow my blog, that is), THE PRINCESS managed to acquire a trio of iguanas on the internet. This was due to a sad convergence of technology (when I was a child, bringing home unsolicited pets was limited to the unclaimed animals found wandering in my actual neighborhood) and parental shortsightedness (I was foolish enough to tell the child that, AND I QUOTE, "you can buy yourself any dumb-ass thing you want as long as you purchase it with your own money" when what I really meant was "I would like you to use your allowance to pay for your Panic at the Disco CDs and the 27 thousand bottles of hairspray it has suddenly become necessary for you to have."
However, while I admit I was not clear enough in my phraseology, I am uncertain how the child heard what I did say and translated it into "why don't you save up your money for a year so you have enough cash to import three lizards the size of baby alligators into our household").

ANYWAY, for the last 5 weeks we have been providing salad and shelter to said overgrown reptiles, the largest of which is T-Rex, who is about the length of my arm (including the tail, which is about half his body and he uses like a whip whenever I come near him, just in case I missed the underlying hostility in the concurrent back-arching and hissing -- he's like a pissed-off cat who thinks he's Indiana Jones). Now, I admit that when T-Rex first arrived in the house I make some sarcastic comment in his earshot about what a fantastic handbag he would make, but that was 5 weeks and a hundred heads of arugula ago, and by now it seems like he should have gotten over it, especially since the other two (Godzilla and Geico) now adore me and wish to shower me daily with lizard love (who knew iguanas could be cuddly? the smaller two are essentially really ugly lap dogs!)

So our creepy-crawlies have been pulling the old good lizard/bad lizard routine (they must have watched too many cop shows in their last home).

And I've spent the last 5 weeks wondering how I got to a place in my life where I'm doing things like putting Mozart on the stereo when I go out because the lizards don't like being left alone, or wondering if the iguanas would like dandelion greens with their spinach today, and saying things like "did you take Godzilla out for a walk yet" and "awww, who's the best lizard?"

But T-Rex continues to loathe me - and, admittedly, pretty much everyone else, so THE PRINCESS has abdicated his care on the grounds that she can't handle him. I can't even argue this, since he is clearly a seething, scaly ball of towering reptile rage (and we've asked around, but shockingly no one seems to be willing to take a psychotic 20 pound iguana off our hands).

Will hates ALL reptiles, even the cuddly vegetarian variety, so I've been the one taking care of T-Rex.

(Art by Chris Achilleos)

And yesterday the vicious brat finally managed to bite me (the fact that it hasn't happened sooner has certainly not been for lack of trying on his part), chomping down as hard as he could on my right thumb AND THEN REFUSING TO LET GO!!!! I let out a blood-curdling scream and THE PRINCESS comes running in, gets a load of my hand spurting blood around the jaws of an enormous hostile lizard, and promptly goes into a fit of hysterics. I finally got T-Rex to release my hand by kicking him in the rump, and there's blood EVERYWHERE, and I've got a deep bite wound that is clearly going to need stitches.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: if you are ever badly bitten by a psychotic 20 pound iguana and need to go to the hospital for stitches, here are some valuable tips:
1. DO NOT ask your hysterical thirteen-year-old daughter to telephone your husband so he can come pick you up and drive you to the hospital. She will make it sound as if you have lost limbs, and before you know it, you will be trying to slow your bleeding while simultaneously dealing with a hyper-ventilating teenager, a hysterical secretary, and a husband on the verge of alerting homeland security.

2. Once you arrive at the hospital, DO NOT assume that you will be able to get away with just saying that you've been bitten; EVERYONE will immediately ask what bit you. On the bright side, it is kind of amusing to see just how many nurses will attempt to respond to the reply "an enormous homicidal iguana" as if they hear this exact response every single day.

3. Unlike nurses, doctors will not pretend the ER treats iguana bites on a regular basis. Quite the opposite; be prepared for a quick visit from every single doctor on the floor, as one by one they decided to pop in just to make sure the previous doctor wasn't just yanking their chain about having an iguana-bite patient.

4. Accept that at least four of them will sing the verse from "Mexican Radio" that goes "I wish I was in Tijuana/eating barbecued iguana."

5. If you (like someone else we know) are a world-class smart-ass and therefore you encourage your singing medics by making lizard jokes yourself, you are running the risk of one of them handing you AN ACTUAL RECIPE FOR BARBECUED IGUANA they have printed off the internet with your discharge papers when you leave.

AND if you think this kind of thing ONLY HAPPENS TO ME:

This month's challenge at "Awfully Big Art Adventure" is "Story in a Box." Here's my entry,
"The Royal Rooster Napoleahen":

I want to encourage you all to post an entry in this month's contest, because they don't get enough digital art pieces and I'm trying to drag them into the 21st century. In any case, go and check out the gorgeous hand-made craft items that most of the other artists enter! They get EVERYTHING - altered art, beading & embroidery, jewelry... there's even one lady who specializes in designing cake toppers!!!! Check them out HERE:


Part Four of "Accidentally Art" is a set of background papers, suitable for altered art and/or scrapbooking. You'll get 12 patterned and completely lizard-free papers in the classic 12x12 size, in a rainbow of colors, 300 dpi. You can snag them here:

My right hand is in a cumbersome splinted bandage, which will slow my designing down a bit; but bear with me, I'll be back with more goodies soon. In the meantime, I have to find a new home for the psychotic 20-pound iguana...

...or at least someone who is into really exotic cooking...


  1. OMG, I'm not laughing at you I'm laughing with you! I had one of those tail whippers and he put a welt across my face that stung for hours. He (ferguson) was not as big as T-Rex but he could also pack a bite as I found out. I feel for you and I just love the way you tell stories. Thanks for making my day!

  2. One bit of advise for you: Deep breath and thick leather gloves LOL

    A bit of reading too

    I love reptiles but wouldn't impose them on anyone. They are special pets that need special care. Hope it works out soon for both of you. Perhaps if you tell him about the recipe... lol

  3. You had me laughing so much I almost forgot to download the papers! You know - iguana is pretty tasty. Flakes like fish, but meaty taste, like (dare I say it) chicken ;-).

  4. Love the artwork you are very talented

  5. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 19 Aug [LA 07:00pm, NY 09:00pm] - 20 Aug [UK 02:00am, OZ 12:00pm] ).

  6. Have a party--BBQ him! lol

    Thanks for the papers! Hope you recover from this whole incident fast!

  7. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 19 Aug [LA 11:19pm] - 20 Aug [NY 01:19am, UK 06:19am, OZ 04:19pm] ).

  8. We welcome ALL entries to our challenge! I do love this digital offering, and the way you've made it look like a box of assorted items. Great work and thanks for taking part.
    Rosie ABAA

  9. Tammara you really made me laugh with this one .... you are such a good story teller.

    Oh and thank you so much for the papers.

  10. Thank you so much for this Freebie. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Hands Scrapbook Freebies Search List, under the Page 10 post on Aug. 20, 2009. Thanks again.

  11. Lovely story in a box- wonderful collage work with exciting elements! I also enjoyed reading your post!

  12. oh man, i am still wiping away the tears of laughter (and i will go to bed tonight humming that damn wall of voodoo song - now where IS that tape???). i hope your hand heals quickly. thanks for the wonderful freebies - i've been going back through your blog and enjoying all of your artwork.

  13. Your art is beautiful, I'm sure your wild and crazy adventures are the perfect inspiration. I wonder if they could make a cartoon with a plot as funny as your iguana story?

  14. You made me laugh so much I almost forgot about the challenge!
    Your digicollage is absolutely wonderful....very witty and very clever.
    I adore it.
    Thank you for taking part.
    Linda x
    (Believe me, if I was clever enough to do digital art I would, lol!!)

  15. Can't stop smiling. Sorry about the hand, but that story is too funny! PS.. thanks for the papers, love your work!

  16. Oh Tammara I hate to say I laughed so hard when I read this. However not at your injury or your predicament but at your humorous story telling. It is wonderful as are the lovely papers you have gifted us. Thanks so much for your generosity. Hope your thumb heals quickly.

  17. You are a great story teller. Unfortunately these lizards can be quite dangerous to humans once they get large. They can be especially friendly or aggressive during a woman's menstrual cycle. I would be careful. I know you are being funny but you do need to watch your daughter - I know someone who was attacked by her iguana - his body was over 4 feet long - and she ended up in the hospital for several days, over hundred stitches and a broken wrist. Have you potty trained these creatures? I just wondered, I had a friend in highschool who had a very large one and Iggy was trained.

  18. OMGosh!! I was laughing until I read that last post, YIKES!! Thanks for sharing your story and your art, you amaze me!

  19. LOL Tammara!
    Love love love The Royal Roaster Napoleahen!
    Very funny story in a box. That'll teach him to not count his chickens before they are hatched.
    Sorry to hear about the iguana incident, glad you can see the funny side of it though.
    Happy Crafting!

  20. Like the fact that your Napolean -as-rooster has his hands free, and out of that vest....but especially like that desrvedly gogle-headed Col.Saunders doll; at first glance it seemed the rooster's captured la saunders, then the signage made all clear....methinks, though, bad business thinking on the grizzled bearded one's part getting rid of an obvious prize stud...ah, me!Anyways, nice Pythonesque feel throughout!

  21. nnnnnnnnnnnn....BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAH!!!!!
    OMG my sides hurt.