Tuesday, 31 August 2010

where i went

I stayed in London the other weekend to see this play (and no, I didn't squeal every time Jonathan Groff appeared onstage, but I did get blown away by his performance and those of the rest of the cast, especially Simon Russell Beale)

with this gorgeous girl

who lives in a lovely cosy place furnished with pretty things like these (the seat pads were made by her mum)

and makes beautiful dolls like these.

I had a really wonderful time walking around London with George and watching Deathtrap with her (which is a terrific play, by the way, so go see it!). She was kind enough to put me up for the night and gave me cake and lots and lots of delicious tea.

I was a very tired but happy bunny when I came home and was welcomed with lots of hugs and kisses. Hmmm. Life is just perfect sometimes.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

last post for now

This is definitely my last post for the day. I will try and post more frequently but with the kids going back to school next week, I'm not really sure how much time I'll have for blogging. I do hope I can still make time for it because I do enjoy it.

Anyway, let me just rave about my new favourite artist, Katie Green. I chanced upon her when I was looking through the contributions to the Flickr group What I Wore Today (which is brilliant by the way so go visit it!). A couple of pictures caught my attention, which made me curious about the artist, which then led me to Katie's blog. I was so blown away by this amazing girl and her charming pictures that I spent a few days reading her blog from the very beginning. There's so much in her life story that resonates with my own (this deserves a separate post which I shall write later)  that I just wanted to go out and find her and give her a big hug just for being. 

She has just returned from a trip to the US and as soon as she re-opened her Etsy shop, I ordered the two latest issues of her zine, The Green Bean. I can't wait for them to arrive in the post!

As a parting shot, here's something I drew today in my brand new journal (Tim Burton's Tragic Thoughts Light-Up Journal—I know, it's not a Moleskine, but it does have pretty LED lights!):

And here's a potential entry to What I Wore Today. I wore this today when I took the kids to the local playbarn. We spent over four hours there today, which was fine with me because I got to read, take notes and draw! I'd love to join What I Wore but I fear I don't wear very interesting clothes on a regular basis. I tend to be most comfortable in old jeans and tops that can sustain assaults from my messy kids but I don't think other people would be interested in seeing those outfits. :)

what i've been doing

Can you tell that I'm trying to make up for my blogging hiatus? I've been doing a lot of reading, thinking and planning lately. There are a few changes in the horizon for our family, so I'm doing my best to prepare for them. Change is good, as they say, and so far, all the changes we've gone through have turned out to be good for our family.

Anyway, all the thinking and reading and planning seem to be leading me in one direction: making a living out of what I love the most—illustrating and writing. These past few weeks, I've been assessing my knowledge and skills, making lists of things I know I'm capable of doing, skills I need to improve, new skills I need to learn. It sounds pretty boring, but to me it has been a period of discovery and excitement, so much so that I've been staying up scribbling in my journal, setting goals, making timetables and to-do lists, writing down ideas for stories and pictures, doing sketches, and checking out artists' blogs and design websites. These are crazy times in my head. I'm so glad that this is all happening while school's out because I know I won't be able to maintain this momentum once the kids are back in school.

To convince myself that I'm not delusional about my goals, I've been posting some of my illustrations on Facebook, just to see how people will react to them. So far, I've had a lot of positive feedback. Right now, I'm working on my postcard girls series. Most of the girls in this series are based on women I know and admire. I made my very first one a couple of years ago. I drew her for my best friend Det and based her on Det's favourite comic book character, Death from The Sandman. This girl is called Didi (Death's human incarnation in The High Cost of Living).

Patricia, based on my favourite teacher

Sophie, who looks a lot like Sofia

Rosa, a girl who loves unusual flowers
This girl doesn't have a name yet. She's a product of my playing with my new rolls of washi tape.

Heather, a sophisticated girl who loves to dress up

I'll do proper scans of my girls and decide on the best background for each. I'm hoping to have them printed out as postcards next month. I still haven't decided whether to open an Etsy shop or not. I guess the best thing about Etsy is the amount of potential exposure one gets by selling there. I'll announce my decision once I actually have something to sell, so watch this space!

I have many more projects in mind. I've started writing a short story, apart from *the* book that I've been meaning to write and for which I have written so many versions of the first part. There's a lot of work involved, I know, but I'm really excited and happy right now.

this summer

Wow, this summer has flown by! It has been a challenging one for us, but I can't say that we didn't have fun.

We had to cancel all our holiday plans because of Simon's knee injury. It got worse over the last month of so, which made driving long distances a no-no for him. I'm afraid that my driving skills are still laughable, so I haven't dared drive the family anywhere just yet.

Hence, we've spent a lot of time at home. I wish I could say that we have managed to completely declutter and do all the chores we've been meaning to do (redesign the front garden and back garden, clean out the garage and put in a proper storage system, clear out the loft, finish decorating the lounge and dining room, you get the idea), but alas, nothing of that sort happened. We did manage to get someone to clean our gutters and repaint our fascias, so that's one item off our very long to-do list.

What we've been pouring a lot of energy into is a bunch of little rodents that have taken up residence in our house. We have twelve very cute fancy mice (we started out with four and they've multiplied since!) and two lovely furry rabbits. I don't know what got into us but we just decided on Father's Day that we would get mice and rabbits. Simon wanted to breed mice and I wanted to cuddle rabbits. Well, S got his wish. Unfortunately for me, we somehow managed to get the only two rabbits in the world who do not like being cuddled.

This is Milly, the alpha female wabbit who likes to show who's boss and nibbles anything she can grab.

Don't be deceived by Molly's cuteness. She's very good at jumping out of reach when you try and catch her.

Mousy and Cow are two of our first females.

We haven't really been spending all our days looking after our pets. We've also been doing a lot of playing inside the house

The kids with their new set of blocks - bought especially for rainy summer days.

and out.

   I just had to include this photo of Molly because she has this funny
habit of hiding under the kids' climbing frame whenever they're in the garden.

And of course, we've been doing a lot of baking too!

A big loaf of banana bread and lots of chocolate chip fairy cakes. Yum!