The Purple Heart

“Oh my God Clark – there are these vows: no lovers, that would explain why Lois was hit, no allies, which would explain my purple heart, and no disciples outside of the cult, that’s her. ” — Chloe Sullivan, Smallville Season 9 Episode 10 – “Disciple”

Curious that phrase, “purple heart” to an exploring mind that had heard the phrase rarely. Of course I could glean a passing-in-context definition but a seeking mind will locate answers:

purple heart definition

The first of those definitions is what Allison Mack‘s character Chloe was referring to in context. What interested me the most out of the three was the second definition. I have seen plenty of dark wood, stained wood, and treated wood, but never dark purplish-brown timber. It seems that the genus of trees Peltogyne is particularly responsible for purple heartwood though it does not start out that way. First of all, heartwood is the center of a tree, a section that undergoes a natural, genetically programmed chemical reaction. This reaction results in the heartwood becoming particularly resistant to water and decay.


the bits that make wood

The cells of the heartwood lack cytoplasm and are functionally dead. Each species has a uniquely pigmented center, though it is not always this starkly different from sapwood (the living wood of the tree that holds sap and also stores and transports water from the roots to the leaves as needed by season). The ratio of sapwood to heartwood varies by species. Some trees can survive with a relatively slim layer of sapwood while others have a more compacted area of heartwood. We use heartwood to produce a great aesthetic effect in floors, dressers, bed frames, desks, window frames, and more. The Peltogyne heartwood is ranked one of the extremely densest woods in the world and can be used to produce a particularly pleasing pigment:

Peltogyne hardwood flooring

amaranth wood

Peltogyne is also known as purpleheart, amendiom, and amaranth. Its heartwood starts out a light brown but turns a rich purple after it is cut. The gorgeous shade above is induced by exposing Peltogyne‘s heartwood to UV light (sunlight) which turns the wood dark brown – but it retains a purple hue. When the desired color is achieved it is preserved by a UV inhibitor. Purpleheart is prized in its use for inlay work, particularly in furniture and musical instruments. It is used primarily in smaller scale projects because it is fairly expensive and difficult to work with.

One day I hope to have some of this inlay on pieces in my own home. This is beautiful work and I’m glad I stumbled upon it. It’s another of my appreciations in this wide world, not to mention another interesting connection to a translation of my name.

Well? Go feed your curious mind!


*I write many posts like this sharing what I enjoy researching in hopes that I share fun learning experiences. This also helps me organize the material for long term memory and develop ideas for stories. For more of these articles select the “Ratified Research” category tag.

My Special Discount Livestream Commissions!

I will be hosting special livestreams with unique discount prices about twice a month!

The pre-notice for these streams will come at least five days before the planned broadcast on my deviantArt, FurAffinity, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook accounts. If you are just checking in there is one planned for this afternoon and evening starting at 2pm EST. I will send out a notification with links when I start uploading the stream this afternoon. Here is my channel if you wish to bookmark it or save it for yourself.

Special Streams

Special Streams

Like all my other livestream-central commissions:

- these are on a first come, first serve, pay first system BUT…but a list will be created of those interested.

- 18+ ideas are welcome

- for couples the second character is ½ off

- feel free to ask any questions if you are unsure.

- you are more than welcome to come watch just to hang out, chat, whatever!


I hope I’ll see you there, regardless of your reasons. If I do not catch you there, then I hope everyone has a fun weekend~!

My Novel and its Art

I started writing the book featuring Kiara in high school. It was inspired by a friend of mine featuring four main characters which four of us invented. The most work I have ever done on the book was in high school, probably because my friends were a heavy influence on the writing. As I went through college I tried to edit and rewrite sections of the book. This resulted in several different versions of the story, none of which seemed to measure up to the first world I built for it. So I scrapped them, taking only the parts and characters I thought would be useful. After graduating I took up the task once again, this time, starting before the timeline I wrote from in high school and focusing on Kiara’s story. During the first installments of the book I went through a lot of flashbacks to help explain motivations for the characters and I thought it might be better to just write those through, perhaps turning it into a two or three part series. I know these sections are going to go through heavy editing later but it helps to have them laid out clearly now as I’m filling out her story.

One of the things that kept me excited about writing this book is the life in the illustrations either I or others did for it. Please keep in mind that these images are copyrighted by their respective owners and also that some of the designs have changed over time and between versions of the story. To see them larger, click on the image!

“Fiery Temper (and matching fists)” by Khezix

“Xirca: Desert Warrior” by Kiri Ramdeo

“Ti’Kara” by Kiri Ramdeo

“Xmas Sketch Gift: The Water Dragon” by Khezix

“Desert Born” by Kiri Ramdeo

“Escape” by Kiri Ramdeo

“Caught” by Kiri Ramdeo

“Study Date” by Kiri Ramdeo

“Ruin Walls” by Kiri Ramdeo

“Under the Snow” by Kiri Ramdeo

“Through the Fire” by Kiri Ramdeo

“At the Parting of Ways” by Kiri Ramdeo

What projects have you gotten yourself into lately?

I Believe in You

If you are pursuing something that is of value to you, whether it is a job, a relationship, an adventure, a trip, keep going for it. You may have been inspired to start from what a friend, coworker, teacher, or parent said to you – encouragement they gave you. Any time you feel down just remember that those people, the people who tell you “why not?” and encourage you to go for it believe in you. Lean on that strength when you need to. They support you and when you start after what you want you’ll attract more uplifting people to you. Realize that though pursuing an avenue you are passionate about may not be easy – but it will be worth it.


“Believe in the me that believes in you.” –Kamina via Gurren Lagaan

Being an independent illustrator and writer is not easy. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s a struggle. However, the most influentially supportive people in my life are my friends and teachers. They are my recharge anytime I am so low I am considering giving up. All of their encouragement feels like it pours into a glowing seed inside me and it radiates unwavering belief in myself.

"rise and rise again until lambs become lions" --Robin Hood

“rise and rise again
until lambs become lions”
–Robin Hood

Success for me is finding a way to balance being financially independent and inspiring others through illustration – storytelling – teaching and sharing. The world is harsh and cold and there will always be bad news but if we were only here for bad news why does the good news, the highlights of our lives, feel so good? Why keep trying? For me, the answer is in the stars.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others. —Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
—Marianne Williamson

So go for it, darlings. Stand up on your own two feet. You are powerful beyond measure and your energy will resonate through the stars~

Age Versus Knowledge

I realize that I worry substantially about my personal riding habits.

I worry that my seat is too light, my leg position is off – that my hands are too heavy on the bit. As such I also find that my enjoyment of riding is indirectly proportional to the amount of worry I carry. The more I carry the more the horse carries and a little bit of weight in the wrong area can mean the difference between a favorable fall and a bad fall. Why do I carry so much of it? Perhaps because I have moved to

On that note I want to bring your attention to a writer who breathes such horse sense into her writing that it is soothing. As I read Anna Blake’s posts the tenseness in my shoulders relax and my worries about being a good rider – my focus on my bad habits – eases slightly. Anna’s most recent post contains a bit of wisdom that has me pondering about timelines:

“One of the very best things about being 60 is that no one wants to see me naked- on a horse or anywhere else. That makes me really happy. Liberated. Free. The meat wagon has left. Friends I have now love me without cosmetic correction, for the same reason horses and dogs have from the beginning. It’s dependable.”

It reminds me that we come out of the womb knowing knowing next to nothing cosmetically factual, yet very much instinctually. Does that mean you have to wait until you are aged three score years to feel the way Anna describes? Should you place a calendar marker on thirty years to acquire a prescribed amount of knowledge? Not necessarily. Age specific markers of knowledge on a timeline are placed there by others. For a large portion of childhood we hear, “You’ll understand [insert-situation] when you are [insert-age-here].” I have reached a few of the ages prescribed by aunts, parents, and an assortment of other adults. Do you know what I have learned? That markers are silly. None of the markers dictated to me were accurate to the ages paired with them. There is no correct age for mastering riding or producing a best seller novel. There is no correct mindset for a specific age. Accept that you are going to process the lesson you learn in a time and way that is unique to you. While yes, we are sometimes grouped by age for such experiences that does not make it an ultimatum. Becoming negative towards yourself because you haven’t learned the lesson for [insert-situation] by [insert-age] does not help either. There are enough people weighing in on you as it is, why add to your load?

When I returned to taking riding lessons at twenty-four I found a lot of riders around me were younger than I and knew more factually about the discipline they rode in. I felt disappointed. However, I stuck with it and while I sometimes feel sad that I did not come into this area of my passion sooner I no longer feel disappointed. I know plenty of things others will not and to write every little thing down would take longer than I have to live. Consider that we pass on knowledge both factual and experiential to each person who crosses into our circle of life. Sometimes the lesson is learning how to navigate the social circle you prefer, sometimes it is learning how to listen to and sharpen your instincts. You will meet people who learned lesson A at fourteen or forty what you realized at twenty four.

In the end age is no consequence. You are a culmination of your experiences no matter your age. Although, just keep in mind that you do not have to experience a situation to be sure you would not enjoy any part of it. Learn from both your negatives and positives. Focus on your positives.


untitled WIP

I hope everyone has a fun weekend~

Drawings and Helping with a Show

I have decided that this blog shall remain at the address it is, at least for now.

That said, thank you all, return readers and watchers of my art. I love having your feedback. I meet so many wonderful people pursuing this dream and each personality is unique. Thank you for your advice, consideration, and support. It is not easy and starting out is the hardest part for any endeavor. If you know of anyone who is interested in print quality digital commissions I possess a wide variety of ability and unique style. The easiest way to contact me is via my artist page on Facebook or at

Daily Drawings

This weekend I am in Ocala helping Arbordale Riding Academy at a horse show in Ocala. I shall not be riding in a class but helping work horses and working with Arbordale’s Owner and Trainer, Andrea Whiting, as well as her Assistant Trainer, Emily Whiting. To learn more about these wonderful women and the details of their experience visit Arbordale’s Facebook page.

I’ll check back in with you soon. I hope everyone is having a good start to their weekend!

Move the Blog?

Hey guys and gals! Thank you for all the birthday wishes last Saturday I had a blast!

I’m wondering if I should move my blog from to my website. Do not worry, the website is hosted by WordPress so you will not need an additional login to comment on or read content. I want to move it over primarily because I like having one less account to update, and in all honestly my main site should probably be where the most activity is outside of deviantArt and such. What do you think? Check out the differences in display and color and let me know. I’m counting on your opinion!

In the mean time I have started hosting livestreams again! You can either follow this link or go to the Links tab above to access the page. Livestream does not require a login to participate in the stream and I usually leave the audio on so we can listen to music and I can respond to your chat messages. If you really want to log in to chat you can always ping in with Facebook.

Speaking of streaming, I will be taking livestream commissions when I stream – these are commissions that I will draw for you during the stream! Streaming commissions are on a first come first serve basis and I start the commission after you have deposited the appropriate funds in Paypal. For this commissions I will do sketch lines with either monochrome blocking or flat colors. I will also do chibis. Here is an example of what full body stream commissions will look like (¾ busts and chibi examples will be up soon):

You are most welcome to come by and join me, my watchers have great fun!

Next week’s post will probably be something related to horses – no promises though! I hope you are doing something fun with your weekend otherwise and I wish you great resolve and will for moving towards your goals~


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 131 other followers