September 10th, 2013
Some of the sketches I’ve shared over the past few weeks and months have finally come to fruition. I just added a bunch of new cards to the shop! I had so much fun making these, especially the wedding and sympathy cards. For some reason I’d never created cards in those categories before! Check them all out below, or you can shop the new designs right here.
Oh, I forgot to mention—I changed my checkout settings so that you no longer need a PayPal account to purchase from witandwhistle.com! Payments are still processed through PayPal, but you can use your credit card without creating an account. Yay!
September 6th, 2013
I drink a fair amount of tea, as you probably know if you’ve been hanging around my blog long. Recently I read this article about pesticides and tea, which kind of freaked me out. I decided the only solution was to start growing my own tea. Then it wouldn’t have any pesticides on it—maybe just a little dog pee. I found Camellia Forest, an online nursery that sells tea plants (Camellia sinensis), and ordered three. Along with three healthy little plants my package contained detailed care instructions and directions for preparing green, black, and oolong teas. I’m so impressed with this nursery! My only complaint is that the instructions were typed up in Papyrus, but I can’t expect everyone to be a font snob, right? I definitely recommend ordering from there if you want to try growing tea. Now is the time to plant!
Hopefully next year I’ll get to harvest my own tea leaves and write up a post about preparing them. It’s a bit more complicated than I thought it would be, but I’m excited to try making my own fancy schmancy tea!
Psst! New products are coming to the shop early next week! Make sure you have signed up for my newsletter in the sidebar so you don’t miss any special offers I might be sending out only to subscribers—wink wink!
September 4th, 2013
These are my favorite drawing tools! What are yours?
Pilot Precise V5 pens: I’m often asked what kind of pens I like to use, so now you know! I remember when I first laid eyes on a Pilot Precise pen. I was 11 years old sitting in my 6th grade math class. The girl next to me pulled one from her Hello Kitty pencil box, started writing, and I was smitten. I doodled and took notes with V5 pens from then on, but I didn’t try full blown pen and ink illustration until high school. When I did it came naturally to me, and my love of V5 pens grew. I’ve used other pens, but I always come back to the V5s.
Spiral Bound Sketchbook: Sketchbooks with fancy hand stitched bindings are lovely, but they’re just not practical for me. If a sketchbook doesn’t have a spiral binding I won’t use it. Spiral bound sketchbooks always lie flat and that makes scanning (and sketching while curled up on the couch with two dogs on your lap) so much easier. I also love that I can cleanly rip pages out of my sketchbook if I draw something so bad that it just has to be trashed. I don’t even have a favorite sketchbook brand, just give me that spiral binding!
A Morale Boosting Pencil Pouch: A while back I splurged on a beautifully rugged leather pencil pouch from infusion, and I have no regrets. My pencil pouch is so awesome that it makes me feel awesome when I unzip it and begin sketching. But wait, there’s more! No longer do I waste time searching for lost pens and pencils in the couch cushions, and with my drawing instruments neatly zipped inside my pouch I can always keep them within arm’s reach. When everything I need to start sketching is easily accessible, I end up drawing more often and that’s always a good thing.
August 29th, 2013
I had to snap a few photos in my garden today, because the knockout roses I planted in June are going bonkers. I planted three pink and three red rose bushes in a row interspersed with catmint. Four bushes I planted in straight compost and two I planted in topsoil. The roses planted in compost are covered in blooms and have doubled in size since June. The roses in the plain topsoil only have one or two blossoms and have hardly grown at all. They’ve all received the same amount of sunlight and water. I can’t believe the soil makes that much difference! Hopefully in a year or two I’ll have learned enough about gardening to write a post full of gardening tips. That’s my goal anyway!
By the way, remember the single tomato I was so excited about eating? I’ve been counting how many tomatoes I’ve plucked from my ”sweet 100″ tomato plant since then, and I’ve almost hit 20o tomatoes—from one plant! Honestly I’m getting a little tired of eating cherry tomatoes at this point!
I’ve had good luck with lush ferns and coleus this year too.
Has anyone ever used a macro extension tube like this or this? I’m dying to take some extreme closeups of my plants, and my 50mm isn’t cutting it. I’d love some recommendations or advice!
August 27th, 2013
I’m cranking out new designs like a maniac! Don’t you love it when you’re on a roll? Lately it seems like all my ideas are coming together just like I want them to. I try to savor these creative rushes, because they don’t come often enough. I could barely tear myself away from my sketchbook long enough to write this post. I’ll be adding a bunch of new goods to the shop in a few weeks!