ACW Episode 300 – FINALLY!!!

Cynical Woman!

Click on the webcomic to see it full-sized!


I’m sorry. I’m having a frustrating night… week…month… semester… life.

I think it’s ironic that as I was drawing the episodes for this particular story line, a lot of this has actually been playing out in real life. I had horrific insomnia and night sweats all summer (two of the more fun symptoms of menopause). Then just as I was coming to grips with all of that, the school year re-started and I got clobbered with all the turmoil that goes along with that – parent-teacher meetings, volunteer work, after-school activities, volunteer work, Girl Scout recruiting, volunteer work, troop meetings, volunteer work, eighth grade and the associated looming graduation from middle school, VOLUNTEER WORK.

It just never stops. Seriously. And I am doing my best to embrace the madness, but all the volunteer work has just killed my work schedule the last two months. I am hoping to fix that now that we’ve gotten past cross country season, but I know there are more opportunities for VOLUNTEER WORK just around the corner.

Seriously, if I didn’t need my right hand to draw, I’d cut it off at the shoulder to keep myself from raising my hand every time someone calls for volunteers!

Anyway, the comic above is a pretty good representation about how I feel these days, right down to the blowzy old broad in the final panel. I swear, I will have that hair AND those pants one day, and I will look FABULOUS!

Krampus Challenge, Day 31, & Creature Comforts, Day 01 – Krampus Amigurumi Finished!


Krampus Amigurumi!

“Baaaaaa! Humbug!”

I just finished this. Yesterday, I had the head completely assembled and the body attached. Today I finished off the legs, beard and tail and stitched those on. Five seconds later, my nephew ran off with him, shouting, “Kwampus! KWAAAAAMPUS!!” Apparently, he’s very happy with his new stuffie.

Which is perfect, because while yesterday was the last day of the Krampus Challenge, today is the first day of the Creature Comforts Challenge, and I can think of no better Creature Comfort than a monstrous stuffie to cuddle with at night and help keep the Thing Beneath the Bed at bay until morning.

 I’m going to spend the rest of today relaxing with family and watching y nephew run around with Krampus. It’s a good way to start the New Year.

Artwork – “Adventure of the Heart”

“Adventure of the Heart” by Helen E. H. Madden

I finished this drawing a lot faster that I thought I would. I'm still not sure why I decided to draw this or what I was trying to do. Finn looks like he's either been made out of fuzzy yarn or he's been taking a lot of psychodelic drugs. But this is “Adventure Time” fan art, so I guess either would be about right.

This was drawn in Sketchclub on my iPad. I love the brushes and tools in Sketchclub, but I recently discovered that another app, Procreate, has a feature that may soon make it my new favorite. In Sketchclub, you can record while you draw, and you can export that video afterwards. BUT you have to select the record button before you start to do the recording. In Procreate, the recording is done automatically. You don't have to worry about hitting any buttons, it just happens. It seems to work a lot better than the Sketchclub video recording as well, in that it doesn't seem to slow down the app at all, or cause it to crash (I've had both happen in Sketchclub while recording video, though the crashing doesn't happen very often).

If only I could combine Sketchclub's brushes and tools with Procreate's video recording ability. Maybe someday that will happen. Until then, enjoy this very fuzzy drawing of Finn from “Adventure Time.”


Finished Artwork – “Tree Lighter”

I've been working on this drawing for a few weeks now. This week, I decided I was going to stay in bed an extra hour so I could just draw, and that's how this piece got finished. “Tree Lighter” was drawn in Sketchclub on my iPad, using the vector tool for most of the work. I suppose I'll have to start a new drawing tomorrow morning. I'll have to see if I want to keep spending that extra hour in bed just so I can draw robots. What do you think? Wise investment of my time, ultimate form of laziness, or both?

Tree Lighter

Tree Lighter by Helen E. H. Madden


Zombie Calendar is finally for sale!

My Zombie Calendar is finally for sale on Zazzle!!!

Well, file this under “better late than never!” Last year I started working on a zombie calendar, drawing a zombie a month using Adobe® Ideas on my iPad. I had planned to finish up the calendar and put it up for sale on Zazzle in November, but then I tore my ACL and all the plans I had for the rest of the year sort of fell apart. Honestly, I couldn’t sit upright with a laptop until just last week, due to the swelling and soreness in my right knee.

But now it’s done! Twelve zombies to commemorate the twelve months of the year! I will be ordering a couple of copies, hopefully to get them in time to take to Marscon on the 18th through the 20th in Williamsburg, VA. I will also have a collection of greeting cards, including Zombie Santa and a zombie Valentine, and some original crocheted amigurumi! If you’ve been following me on Twitter (@Cynical_Woman), you’ve seen some of the amigurumis in progress. I’ll have Skully Girl, Funky Chicken, Pumpkin Head, Zombie Sock Monkey, and Mr. Squishy, either in the art show or for sale at my table. So be sure to stop by and take a look!

(By the way, if you’re on Ravelry, I’m listed as CynicalWoman!)

The March to Keep Deer Alive!

I am having waaaay too much fun today with my computer. Here’s one of the signs I’m putting together for the March To Keep Fear Alive. This is the fault of the Hubster, Mich, and myself, so you know who to blame.

This is the poster Princess will be carrying at the march. Now to see if I can get this printed in time for October 30th!

My “Fear Me” t-shirt is here! (with pics of my boobs)

Huzzah! My “Fear Me” t-shirt arrived today. Zazzle did a great job with printing this one up. Here’s a pic:

And yes, those are my actual boobs inside that t-shirt. Love how the shirt fits, by the way. I can’t wait to wear this to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear!

If you would like your own “Fear Me” t-shirt, they are for sale at Remember, the profits go to, one of the charities supported by the Colbert Report.

Buy the “Fear Me” t-shirt for charity!

Look what I made! The “Fear Me” t-shirt is now up for sale on After receiving many excellent suggestions as to where to donate the profits for t-shirt sales, I decided in the end to give the money to First, is the charity promoted by the Colbert Report. Second, it’s a charity that supports education, and this t-shirt is about the dangers of educated women. Third, it meets the standards of accountability for the BBB. And fourth, they accept donations through PayPal, which made it easy for me to send the money straight to them, as opposed to having it come to me first and then I send it to them. (I like not having to be the middle man.)

The shirt is available in all colors, though for the red t-shirts, I obviously had to change the text color to bright orange as opposed to dark red. If you buy the shirt today, you can still get the Columbus Day sale price (14.92% of the price of the order). Just use the code 1492COLUMBUS when you check out. And remember, the profits go to a worthy cause. lets you make donations to classrooms in need, and there are plenty of classrooms out there that need help. So go buy a t-shirt. Or skip the t-shirt and just make a donation straight to instead. Either is all right with me!

Daily Doodle – Robot final

There are two versions of this painting, so make sure you see them both. This first version was what I ended up with after painting in Art Rage 3.0. I did the entire image using only the watercolor tool, and was very pleased with the results. However, I thought it lacked something, so I exported this image with its various layers as a Photoshop document, and did some more work in that program. Here’s the results of that…

This definitely gave the image some punch. I used a couple of iStock images I had on a resources disk from Photoshop Creative magazine; one image of tree branches in autumn and the other a circuit board. The first obviously went in the upper left corner of the pic. I ran it through the water color filter, then faded in the edges using the maple leaf brush in Photoshop, then added more maple leaves to work it into the background a bit more. The circuit board image I had to work on a bit more; inverting it, colorizing it, and again fading in the edges using a layer mask and a few textured brushes (the maple leaf and one of the oil brushes).

I also overlaid some texture photos, again from my Photoshop Creative resources disk. And you can see the final result.

I always say I plan to take more time to do art. It’s hard to find that time given my current workload. But playing in Art Rage made things rather simple; just a few minutes here, a few minutes there, and then about an hour this evening finishing up the effects and postwork. We’ll see if I can pull this off again in the near future.