Emily M. DeArdo



Seven Quick Takes No. 105

7 Quick Takes, drawing, healthEmily DeArdo4 Comments


The snow is melting! The snow is melting!

Really, I don't mind snow--around Christmas. I do mind it when it's crazy cold and I have to scrape off my car whenever I want to go somewhere, and deal with the ice around my car. But it's going to be 50 today, and almost 60 tomorrow! Yay!


I'm glad about that 60 in particular because tomorrow is the Columbus Catholic Women's Conference, and last year a huge snowstorm kept me from getting there. It starts at 8, but you have to get there early to get a decent seat--and registration opens at 7. So that means you get up early. And getting up early plus dealing with snow? Just, no. But this year, no snow! No ice! Yay!

I'm especially excited because Jen Fulwiler is one of the speakers.

At Edel with Hallie Lord (L) and Jen Fulwiler (center)

At Edel with Hallie Lord (L) and Jen Fulwiler (center)


This week I went to my audiologist and got my cochlear implant (CI) tuned up. That's not the technical term, by the way. I hadn't been to see her in awhile, so I went it and we "reprogrammed" my processor. 

The big difference between a CI and a hearing aid is that a hearing aid just makes sound louder, while I CI helps you understand what the sound is. And if you're like me, and your hearing is basically shot, you need the CI, and not a hearing aid, becaus making sound louder won't help you. The cells in the cochlea have been destroyed, and thus the sound isn't getting processed correctly by my brain. Thus--the CI. An "array" was threaded into my cochlea during surgery, and that relays the sound I get directly to my brain, bypassing the broken bits. 

So anyway, with the programs, I can have various settings depending on what I need at the time. I generally use one that allows me to get a wide array of sounds, but there are ones for when I want to focus on quieter sounds, or when I want to focus the microphone to just the person or people directly in front of me (meaning, where my head is pointed is where I'm going to pick up sound.) 

After we fine-tuned the programs (they're called MAPS, if we're being technical, but I forget what that stands for), my audiologist took me to the booth where they run hearing tests. If you are hearing-impaired, these booths are generally awful because you feel like an idiot. But with the new program, I was able to hear a really wide range of sound at various levels (meaning I detected the sound--I could hear it at all) of pitch and volume. So yay! 


The other thing about CIs? They're covered by insurance. Hearing aids aren't. 


I've been doing a TON of drawing this week. Bust out the paints and pencils! 

This is my Atlantic Puffin. I didn't get quite the result I wanted on the black parts, but I did it on watercolor paper, which has that grain. So, whatever. But how cool is this animal? Orange eyes!

I'm also working on sketching and painting teacups. I need to take some pictures of those, though, to show you. 


Reading: Not a whole lot, sadly, other than my Lent books. But when one gives up book buying for Lent...also, the library hasn't had any interesting books on the ebooks roster lately. I love that you can borrow ebooks. No worries about returning things on time!


This week in CCD we're doing Sacraments--we've broken them up into parts. The book does a chapter on the Eucharist when we talk about Holy Thursday, so that's coming up. This week we're covering Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. Next week: Marriage, Confession, and Anointing of the Sick.  



'To be very accomplished': Learning to draw

drawing, Jane AustenEmily DeArdo2 Comments

'It is amazing to me,' said Bingley, 'how young ladies can have the patience to be so very accomplished, as they all are.'

--Pride and Prejudice

I often joke that I was born in the wrong century. Not medically--in any other century I'd be dead--but socially. A lot of my skills are in the old-school definition of 'accomplishment', as Bingley talks about in Pride and Prejudice (and which we will be talking about on Thursday in the Jane Re-Read!). I can cook, knit, sew (cross-stitch and mend), play the piano, sing, etc.

'A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved.'

'All this she must posses,' added Darcy, 'and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.'

--Pride and Prejudice

I certainly have the extensive reading down, but I've never been able to draw. Really. My brother could do it, and my grandfather, but not me. Art class in school was never a subject at which I excelled. As I got older, I thought I'd never be able to learn it.

But then Melissa turned me on to Sketchbook Skool. This is an online art school, taught by professional artists and teachers. It's video-based, and each class lasts six weeks. I enrolled in "beginnings," and I'm in my last week of the course.   I have definitely learned to draw!

My first Sketchbook Skool assignment.

Learning to draw at Sketchbook Skool @emily_m_deardo

(I don't know why the second one is wonky...sorry guys!)

Anyway, yes, I am really happy with the progress I'm making. The classes have been so informative and I love the teachers. I'm enrolling in another class next week, because in 'beginnings' we haven't covered everything. We've done watercolors, pen, pencil, colored pencil, and we've learned a bit about technique, but I really need to work on perspective and depth in my drawings.

Learning to draw with Sketchbook Skool @emily_m_deardo

There are times when it's really frustrating--don't get me wrong. Some of my drawings are much better than others. But I see something good in every piece I do, so that's definitely a step forward.

SBS is a great example of how the Internet can be awesome. I never would've tried to do this if I hadn't gotten the recommendation from Melissa, and I never would've found these great teachers. I can move through the classes at my own pace, right tin my house. It's not something I have to leave my house to do, which is nice.

Summer is a great time for experimentation and learning new things--are you doing anything this summer like this? Or can you draw much better than I can? :)