Wednesday, September 30, 2009

From mouths of babes

I was driving to the grocery store the other day, and on the way there are several 4-way-stop intersections. Unfortunately, there are more 4-way-stop intersections here than there are people who understand how to use them.

So, after the 2nd such intersection, after dealing with people who weren't paying attention (talking on their cellphones, etc), I got a little upset and started venting, "Oh, come ON! Why can't you just pay attention! It's your turn! It's only a 4-way-stop, it's not brain surgery! First come first serve! You can do this! If you got here first, just GO!"

My almost-4-year-old son's sweet little voice piped up from the back seat:

"Yes honey?"
"Those people, the people in the other cars?"
"Those people..."
"Uh huh?"
"They can't hear you."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A look at "bad" police sketches

Why some police sketches are not good art
Check out this police sketch from British Columbia. A home was broken into and a victim stabbed in the leg. You may be shocked by the strangeness of this...
Keep Reading »

Friday, September 25, 2009

Art blog redesigned

The blog has been redesigned! I hired Lindsey from to create this for me. What do you think? Don't you think she did a great job? I really needed something that would show my pencil portrait art as soon as someone clicked to this blog. I explained to Lindsey the style and look I wanted, and she was very intuitive about what I needed. I am really happy with it. It's like moving into a new house, though. I need to add more info/links etc into this blog - I don't have everything 'unpacked' yet!

Now if I could just figure out how to unlink this blog from my Facebook account...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

@DarlaDixon tweets

  • I just turned down a 500 calorie Sonic burger. I hope I get a shiny star from Dr. Oz. lol #
  • Nice gift from boyfriend to girlfriend - pencil portrait #
  • I try not to complain when gmail crashes, because I have NOT PAID anything for the service! #
  • So you just joined Twitter today and are following 800 people? I feel soooo special! LOL #
  • Really, really, really thankful that my parents were not drugged out hippies. #
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

@DarlaDixon tweets

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After the floods

The storms have passed through, we didn't have any problems at our house, other than just a lot of water. Sadly, 9 people in the Atlanta metro area died. If you heard about the lady who died after minivan was swept down a creek, that was near us in Lawrenceville GA.

The school system closed for two days, which has put me a little behind in my work, but I hope I will be all caught up within a couple days.

I was worried that we would have problems, because we do live near a creek. Typically, a record rainfall for this area would be 8" in a 24-hour period, and that record would be expected to be hit only once in 100 years. We received 14.6 inches of rain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Atlanta flood warnings

Flash flood warnings in the Atlanta area, so bad that the Gwinnett County School system has closed. Our school system is the largest in the state and has 160,000 students. They don't close unless things look very bad.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

@DarlaDixon tweets

  • We're at the beginning of a 10 day forecast of rain in the Atlanta area. I should start a mold farm. #
  • RT @Utrecht_Art $250K top prize up for grabs in Mich. art event #
  • Police sketches don't have to be pretty, here's why #
  • "Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you." H. Jackson Brown, Jr #
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Monday, September 14, 2009

My Twitter policy

If you don't use Twitter, then you probably won't care about this blog post. Sorry about that, carry on then, nothing to see here.

However, if you do use Twitter - and especially if you are following me, and I'm not following your updates back - here are some possible reasons for that. ... Read more>>

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering September 11 2001

I remember seeing the first tower on fire while watching the news reports, and then my horror when I saw the second tower get hit, on live TV. It hit me that there was no way this was an accident. As the realization sunk in, I said to myself, " this is like my generation's Pearl Harbor."
This page asks, Where were you September 11, 2001?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

@DarlaDixon tweets

  • Got sucked in (again) by same person's drama. When will I learn? #
  • Ok, finished large pencil portrait of man with heavy beard and eyeglasses. Glad to be done, but yet sorry to be done. I grow attached! #
  • Drawing portrait of a couple from 2 separate photos to make it look like they posed together. It's working out really great! #
  • Little boy pencil portrait #
  • Pencil portrait of a young woman #
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Sunday, September 06, 2009

@DarlaDixon tweets

  • Just love it when I good friend signs up for Facebook and adds me :) #
  • Etsy password reset meant too many hoops to jump thru, and I can't get it to reset to email address I want to use. I'm not lazy but tired #
  • Well, technology has me flustered. Back to my pencil...where do I plug it in? ;) #
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Saturday, September 05, 2009

I was a girl of the 1970's

This is so funny, and it really does apply to me! I was 5-years-old in 1970, 14-years-old in 1979.

If you were a little girl in the 70's...

You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked.

It did work, just barely. If it didn't really work, we'd imagine it did.

You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it.

Yes, I did! Mine was purple I think!

You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels.

Yes, I zoomed up to 1% of 1 MPH on those things. Concrete and metal don't add up to speed.

You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!)

Aw shucks, yeah.

You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island .

At least once, yes.

You had either a 'bowl cut' or 'pixie', not to mention the 'Dorothy Hamill'. People sometimes thought you were a boy.

I had home haircuts, so I never had anything this good, but I thought it was okay at the time.

You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days.

I have a photo of myself in my rubber boots, sitting on Santa's lap!

YEAH! You owned a 'Slip-n-Slide', on which you injured yourself on a sprinkler head more than once.

Sprinkler head? Hah! I wish I had hurt myself on a sprinkler head. One time my friend and I set up the Slip and Slide over a rocky area. We were definitely not Mensa members.

You owned 'Klick-Klacks' and smacked yourself in the face more than once!

I've heard of these and heard it was a fad, but I never had them and I'm not even sure what they looked like.

Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession.

I didn't have a Holly Hobbie sleeping bag, but I had a lot of other Holly Hobbie stuff. I liked to draw pictures of Holly Hobbie.

You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers.

Oh Lord, yes, the crochet poncho. Mine was passed down from older sisters, I think. I had a decent pair of gauchos. So goofy. I can't believe they're trying to bring them back into fashion.

You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon.

I can't remember asking for this game. I probably figured I wouldn't get it, but friends had it and I did get to play it. I think I did finally get one when it wasn't very popular anymore, but it was still fun.

You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits, or the sunshine family.

I never had Donnie and Marie dolls, but the Sunshine Family seems very familiar!

You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once.

If I wasn't on my swingset, I was on somebody's!

You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color.

I think I was a little too old for these by the time they came around.

You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). You also had a pair of salt-water sandals.

Oh, I wanted those Dr. Scholl's shoes that looked like wood! Those were very cool. Now I look at those and they look like too much work to walk in!

You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Oleson!

I read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books too.

You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink!

Mainly I didn't want to embarrass myself by falling down at a roller rink! Just loved the roller rink then though, it was like a disco and had the huge mirrored disco ball in the center of the ceiling. I remember hearing a lot of Bee Gee's songs while skating.

PONG! ('video tennis' ) was the most remarkable futuristic game you've ever heard of !

Yep, I'd love to go to my sister Barb's house, because she had the Pong game. I'd play it until I was dizzy. That was what qualified for high-tech games back then. The local ice cream shop had the pinball game "Pinball Wizard" with a picture Elton John on it in his huge white platform boots. I played that a lot. I still love pinball games.

Your hairstyle was described as having 'wings' or 'feathers' and you kept it 'pretty' with the comb you kept in your back pocket. When you walked, the 'wings' flapped up and down, looked like you were gonna 'take off' .

Had to have that thick plastic comb with the long handle. Just the handle would stick out of the pocket. The comb was like a fashion accessory.

You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie.

Of course I know who she is, but she was another thing that was considered a little too young for me.

You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic. With the thermos inside some were glass inside and broke the first time you dropped them.

I think I just had the brown paper sack, and the peanut butter sandwich that would be smashed wafer thin if I wasn't careful. We had milk at school.

You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend.

I never really got into this show, but friends and I would fight over who was going to be which character of a show called 'Emergency!'... We would act out scenes from the show, parts of the swingset would be the EMS vehicles the characters used.

YOU had Star Wars action figures, too!

No, I never did, but my brother had action figures and models of Star Trek stuff. The model of the Communicator really flipped open, and it looked a lot like the cell phone I use today.

It was a big event in your household each year when the 'Wizard of Oz' would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags!

I thought the Wizard of Oz movie was all black and white for years (because we had a black and white TV). The movie begins in black and white, but when Dorothy gets to Oz, everything turns color....or should.

You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: 'Who will I marry. Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or David Cassidy?'

Shaun Cassidy was definitely in the question. I had his album of songs, on the cover of it, he's standing by a white grand piano, wearing a white sweater draped ever so casually on his shoulders. Now whenever I see that photo or album, I break out laughing hysterically.

You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record album.

My friends had those albums and I got really tired of the Grease soundtrack especially. Now I love to sing any of those songs if I hear them.

You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage, or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom.

I have the plastic loom and the jersey fabric pieces to make the weird potholders. To date, I have never been able to interest any of my children in making them. Did a lot of decopage with my mom. We'd put magazine pictures on plaster things she made. None of what we created survived. But maybe they'll be on Antiques Roadshow someday (right).

You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!

Oh yes, lots of Shrinky Dinks vapors. That's why I am the way I am today.

You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.

Definitely. Was there any other way? I had to press down the record and play button at the same time, then I'd press Pause. When the song came on I liked, then I could depress the Pause button to record the song. Had to cross fingers that the DJ wouldn't talk through the intro of the song, but he usually would. He'd also talk over the end of the song, doing his best to ruin it!

You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat.

Nope, but I did buy one from time to time.

You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books. (Are you there God, It's me, Margaret.)

I never got to read them, probably because I went to a parochial (church) school and they didn't have them (or allow them) in the school library. I'm sure I would have burst into flames right there if I had read them. lol

You thought Olivia Newton John's song 'Physical' was about aerobics. (?? its not??)

I thought it was about aerobics and thought it was a good song but the video was silly because she never looked like she was exercising AT ALL.

You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces with heart or rainbow designs.

Had no friends. We couldn't afford friends. ;-)
No, somehow I missed that fad.

You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer.

I thought all I had to do was dance in front of the windows at night and I would be discovered. This is scary to me now!

You drowned yourself in Love's Baby Soft - which was the first 'real' perfume you ever owned.

I loved this stuff, they still make it, and I bought it for my daughters when they were about 11 years old too!

You glopped your lips in Strawberry Roll-on lip-gloss till it almost dripped off.

We were all crazy about that shiny lip gloss.

One thing they didn't mention in this list was microwaves. I remember when we bought one of the first microwaves. The entire family read over the instruction manual, trying to figure out what was allowed in the microwave (Wood! Wood can go in the microwave?!?) and not (metal).
Now, it seems ridiculous, but it was like a weird, confusing gadget at the time.

Friday, September 04, 2009


My name is Darla Dixon. I live in Snellville, Georgia, which is considered part of the Metro Atlanta area. I have lived in Snellville about 17 years, and have been in Georgia for 28 years. I grew up in Michigan.

I've been married for 25 years, and we have 17-year-old fraternal twin girls, a 7-year-old boy, and another little boy who just turned 5. The dog in the photo with me is Sasha. She is a mixed breed dog (we think she's a Spaniel/Sheltie mix.)

This blog is about myself and my art.
My website is

Darla Dixon
Darla Dixon Portrait Art and Illustration
PO Box 1755
Snellville GA 30078
e-mail: or
Or use my Contact Form.

Please also feel free to connect with me through any of the following social networks/channels:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Crossing fingers for a new look

I'm looking into hiring someone to redesign this blog. Frankly, I've done all I can do with it and I'm bored with how it looks. All the hacking that I've done to the code has made it harder to use, and when it's harder to use, I'm less likely to post a blog entry! When it's redone, it will probably be at a new web address, and I'll share that with you when it happens.

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