Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Notebooks :)

So in the past week I have made two notebooks- the first to replace my finished art notebook, and the other to use for Cay's Advent Retreat.

My artist's notebook is a lovely size- with my usual mixtures of paper in it. I like the 'deckled edge' effect so I tend to rip it to size :)

The advent one is Christmas themed- because I plan to use it throughout the Advent and Christmas season. I have just read Hannah Hinchman's "A Life in Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal" and so intend to both journal AND draw in it :)

My first entry in the new artist notebook- my wriggling son. He is reading- but he is still not still!

The ever present artist's model- the foot. It and the hand are often seen in my notebooks ;) This one was an experiment with Derwent pencils- which I lack the colour I really need to get my English paleness. Oh well! You can also see my menu and shopping list here- as Hinchman suggests. I have to admit I prefer looking at my shopping list in my notebook as I shop- it is far more interesting ;)

Next up, EDM #249: Draw a Coffee Pot. Ours is rather new, though old fashioned- makes a lovely cuppa and was fun to sketch :)
Not every artistic effort is a success. This is one of them. Apparently trying to talk to my son and draw at the same time does not work. Especially if I am trying to draw an Advent Basket and he is talking about a Crow called Silverspot. They don't work well together. Never mind!

Friday, November 06, 2009


FARM CITY: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

This was a fun read, the memoir of an 'urban farm' in downtown Oakland, CA. Novella tells us how she went from beekeeping, to chickens and eventually to pigs, and all the things she learned along the way!
At times funny, other times a little sad, this book fits in on the shelf right next to Michael Pollan's writings :)
It was well written, and will probably give you the best taste of what meat farming in the back yard is really like. Novella doesn't pull her punches when she describes the slaughtering of her animals- whether for food or other reasons.
It was refreshing to read a local food book that was not all about being a hippie- although Ms. Carpenter admits to being the child of hippies ;)
If you like Michael Pollan's books, or enjoyed Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, then this book is one you will certainly enjoy.

I rate it **** 4 stars. Very entertaining :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I forgot to upload a photo the other day!! I drew this from a reference photo I took, just before sunset in a local park- I was out capturing the autumnal colours before they faded ;)

Pokeweed is a beautiful plant- the contrast of the magenta stem, with the green leaves (varying in tones of green) and the purplish-black berries is a stunner- especially at this time of year!

I have been busy trying some new things too... messing with Manga :) O.K. maybe not precisely manga. Every so often I just get the inkling to mess around with something new. And then it doesn't help when I get myself hooked onto one of the Manga strips out there ;)

But just so you can see I was not just doing nothing...

I'm not too good at consistency in looks just yet ;)

And the other thing I have been doing is planning. Restructuring schoolwork for the kids, and planning a little self education for myself. You can read more about that on my homeschool blog if you are truly interested ;)
A certain "How to Keep an Artist's Journal" Class is also on my list of 'Things to do" :)