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I'm an American citizen, who lives overseas, and I do not follow the news or the election hullabaloo. Still, I hear plenty about it.  Enough to scare me about the future of the US presidency more than just about any other time since I've been old enough to vote.  So, I got online and figured out how to vote from overseas.

I received my electronic ballot today and then spent a goodly amount of time at http://www.isidewith.com/ to see with which candidate I align the most. If you are feeling over- or underwhelmed by the two leading names/parties, I urge you to check it out and consider voting for someone other than the usual suspects. Check it out anyhow; you might surprise yourself.

Enough voices make a difference.

For the first time I feel at peace about this election. My candidate might not win, but I did not sit by and just let whoever into office, not out of idleness or some fatalistic view of Oh-Well-the-Big-Parties-Always-Win-Anyhow.  But they will, of course, if enough people just go with what's familiar...

As much as that sounds like I'm implying someone is wrong to vote for a major party, that is not my intention at all.  I hope only to encourage people to examine what they really think and believe in.

It's the Final Countdown

*cue Europe's song* (Oh 80's, what hilarious fashion you witnessed!)

In one year, we will be returning to Europe. This time, excepting any strange and totally unpredictable happening, we'll really be going back to France on 31 July 2017, give or take a day.

This coming year is going to zoom by. O.O

And these wee ones won't be so wee in another year's time.

Ti'Loup will probably even be walking by then, or swimming :P

Seem to be making a habit of this

I fully intended to post a snippet on Sunday; I had photos taken and everything.  But then Junebug got sick (fever and vomiting), and all plans went out the window. He got better yesterday, but we had a guest over for dinner, which took up my time. (And now I just got back from cleaning up after Sprout, who is suddenly sick. :( )

So, quickly then, I finally decided on what kind of style I want to use for the illustrations, so I played around a bit with different media.  One experiment was doing suminagashi with materials on hand a cheap paper, so not the most stunning results:

The super bright spot on the right is a sun dapple. :P

Then I practiced drawing rats and did more sketches in the two poses I'll need in the book:

For fun, I did some symmetrical drawings, using both my right and left hands simultaneously.

No snippet next week because we are taking a trip to the Red Sea. 

Snippet Sunday

I worked quite a bit on sketching this week, but I could have concentrated more than I did on the illustrations for my picture book.  I did 18 doodles and only filled one page of my (admittedly large) project sketchbook. I finished the hedgehog, too.  My take-away lesson from the hedgehog is: Planning is important. If I don't plan something, I shouldn't be disappointed or discouraged if the back- and foreground are not integrated.  So, even if I'm doing something to horse around, I might want to think it through a bit more.

Some visuals of this week"s workCollapse )
This week's goal is to concentrate on the picture book illustrations and do a doodle a day.

Snippet, um, Tuesday

I didn't post earlier due to a crazy busy social calender. I swear we've had more visits and outings since Ti'Loup was born than in all the years prior. This is what comes of getting to know people in real life, apparently. :P

This was a pretty busy creative week for me.  I started a Doodle Book, different from a sketchbook in terminoloy only. The point is to doodle with purpose (and from real life), and by calling the work doodles instead of sketches, the pressure of creating something "nice" and "worthy" is relieved.  I got the idea off YouTube. It seems to be working well for me. The only thing is that I haven't worked in my picture-book-dedicated sketchbook in probably more than a week. I need to get back to that.

I also did some pencil reference sheets, meant to help me get a better handle on the brands and types of pencils I have.

And because I had fun experimenting with ink last week, this week I continued that by starting on a hedgehog:

I might forget to check this, so perhaps there is no point in posting a goal here, but in hopes of making more progress on my project, I'm going to declare that by next week, I will have finished this hedgehog and made at least 10 doodles and 10 project-relevant sketches.  There.  I've typed it up. Now I must come through. :P

Snippet Sunday

Junebug loves to watch this video A Wolf in Ink and regularly asks for it. It is fascinating to see the wolf appear as the ink travels through the water.  So, inspired by MaryDoodles, I decided to play with my acrylic inks (and a new waterproof black ink) this week and did two little critter portraits:

First I did an owl. I wasn't really planning to do a scene, just put the water down on paper, so the composition is a bit weird. I decided to experiment further with more color and some colored pencil details.  Important thing I learned: When doing a "real" illustration with this technique, take the time to stretch and tape down paper. It was a pain (and sad) to see some nice effects ruined by buckling paper. :(

As Junebug says, "This is a fox":

Lesson learned from fox: That waterproof ink really is waterproof. Once you put it down, it isn't coming off again.

I also did a few sketches of animals for my picture book.

Snippet Sunday

I forgot to take pictures of this week's creative endeavors,* but I remembered to take one of Ti'Loup's quilt. (fresh out of the washing machine; should have ironed it for the photo. :P )  And because frigg made me laugh with a comment the other day to the effect of "In my mind, your craft room is a pristine space," you also get a bonus of the reality that is my atelier. I did spare you the mess that is the children's side. In fact, their workspaces so are overflowing with their stuff that they always come to my tables... o.O In fact, I had just cleaned the table on the left to install the new tablecloth and the stuff you see there is Junebug's and Sprout's paintings in progress.

So, the blanket:


* I did some colored pencil sketches of fruits and plants, and two watercolor "exercises". One was an attempt (following a tutorial) of painting mixed media abstract flowers. I kind of failed on the abstract part. I think I'll take another stab at it is this week. I also did a painting of a leaf as an exercise in mixing colors. While I'm not happy about how my leaf turned out, I did succeed in mixing up the colors I wanted, using those handy watercolor mixing charts I made a while back, which you can see hanging on the left-hand wall in the photo above.  Junebug joined in every now and then, but Sprout did both exercises with me, and we had a lot of fun talking color together. It was neat to hear her repeating Quinacridone Magenta and Burnt Sienna to herself. It is amazing to watch a kid making knowledge her own.

Excuse me while I get my grumble on

When you ask the parents of a newborn if you can come by and meet the baby, please, come by and meet the baby.

Because even if I don't clean my house from top to bottom, I do make an effort to tidy it for you.

I do either bake something or go buy something to make sure I don't welcome you empty-handed.

And you know what else? I miss out on my nap.

I am tired and I have hormone things going on as I recover from 9 months of pregnancy and the whole rollercoaster of giving birth.  So maybe I'm a little bit sensitive here. But seriously. If you say you are coming:  Come.

(Twice now, we've had no shows. Once, the people just seemingly forgot.  The second time, the couple did call to cancel 30 min before they were supposed to show.)

Sunday Snippet

Just a quick word to say I've started sketching again on my picture book. No photo because it is 3 minutes to 9, and I don't want to turn into a pumpkin...or something.  I have to hit the sack.

What creative things have you been up to?

Proud siblings

Both Junebug and Sprout are pleased with their brother, wanting to hold and caress him at every opportunity. They are both really gentle with him.

And snuggled around the cute babyness, you can see the blanket I made. I'll try to get around to taking a photo of it laid flat.

Baby picsCollapse )
I don't know if anyone remembers, but before Sprout was born, we referred to her as "Little Bean." Since "coquille" implies the outer shell to hold something, now that our little one has emerged, I'm going to start calling him Ti'Loup* here, which means "Little Wolf." Just because.

* "Ti" as in petit, pronounced "tee", and the P in loup is silent: tee-lou. If we would have gone with a different first name, we were considering Loup for a middle name.


wayfaring wordhack
The Wayfarer

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