September 27th, 2013
When I heard Molly Jacques was offering an online calligraphy crash course via Skillshare I signed up immediately. I got my supplies a while ago, and suspense has been building as they’ve been sitting on my desk for the past few weeks. This week the course materials were finally available!
It’s my natural tendency to give up on anything that doesn’t come naturally to me, and calligraphy is definitely one of those things. I haven’t picked up a calligraphy pen since last year. Trying to scratch out elegant letterforms with a sharp metal pen tip gives me the same tense, clumsy feeling I get every time I put on a pair of ice skates. I find myself gripping the pen so tightly that my knuckles turn white and have to remind myself not to hold my breath. It’s nothing like the contented happiness that normally envelops me while I’m creating.
Molly’s videos are so helpful, not to mention incredibly inspiring. Beautiful letters shoot out of her pen like it’s a magic wand! I think I’ll force myself to continue through the awkwardness and fill up my whole pad of paper with practice shapes and letters. If by the last page I still feel clumsy and uncomfortable, I’ll set my pen aside knowing that I gave it my best shot. Although my hope is that at some point amidst all the practicing I’ll start to feel at ease with this weird scratchy pen. (I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of ice skating though!)
I’ll bet some of you are also taking the course! Do you like it? Am I the only one with ink stained fingers?
September 24th, 2013
I recently finished filling up a sketchbook, so I thought I’d share a fast motion video flip through of the whole thing. I’ve posted photos of many of these sketches in the past, but I think there’s something special about leafing through them in their natural habitat. Plus this way you get to see all the not-so-pretty pages too!
Music: “an inherited record collection” by Lullatone
September 20th, 2013
This summer I’ve been developing a new product line, and I’m almost ready to add these lovelies to the shop. They’ll be available in October!
Here’s a little teaser…
September 18th, 2013
This week I’ve been busy working on my new holiday card designs. I could share my sketches, but who wants to see holiday stuff in mid-September? So instead, three random things!
These handmade clay soaps from Herbivore Botanicals are my favorite. They lather up beautifully and I love the subtle natural scents. They even sell a beard tonic that I’m going to get Daniel for Christmas. (Don’t worry, he doesn’t read my blog he just looks at the photos so the surprise won’t be spoiled!)
I’m slowly but surely making over our bedroom. Last weekend I painted the ceiling and now I’m working on painting the stained trim. Painting trim is the worst! It’s so tedious, but at least it will make a big impact. Can anybody sympathize?
I picked up a jar of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter—a lower sugar alternative to Nutella. It is so good! I can actually taste the hazelnuts. For breakfast I’ve been spreading it on toasted slices of whole wheat cinnamon chip bread—a delicious way to start each day.
September 12th, 2013
Oliver’s birthday was Monday. He’s had a a rough couple months since Mabel was attacked. He saw the whole thing happen, so he was anxious and upset for weeks until Mabel came home from the vet and started improving. Now he just can’t understand why she doesn’t want to wrestle anymore. He’s been doing a lot of moping and tossing his toys around by himself, so I wanted to do something special for his birthday.
Oliver thinks baking is awesome and runs to the kitchen every time I get out the mixing bowls (probably because I’m a messy baker and fling batter and dough all over the floor for him to “clean” up). So, for his birthday we baked dog biscuits together. Oliver was in charge of dough taste testing, bowl licking, and biscuit eating. I took care of all the things that required opposable thumbs.
I didn’t taste them, but Oliver and Mabel loved these biscuits! They were so good in fact, that Oliver temporarily overcame his camera shyness and let me snap a few photos of him with our baked goodies. He lingered in the kitchen a long time after we finished baking, jumping up and down occasionally to catch glimpses of the biscuit jar on the counter. I guess he thought he was going to get to eat them all at once!
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
a dash of salt
1/2 cup hot chicken or beef broth
1/4 cup peanut butter
cookie cutters (optional) Amazon sells bone shaped cookie cutters
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead until you have a nice ball of dough (add a little extra water or broth if the dough is too dry). Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4″ thick. Cut into bite size pieces, or use some cute bone shaped cookie cutters.
Line the biscuits up on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until hard and crunchy. My small biscuits were ready in 30 minutes. The larger ones were done after 40 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Feed them to your dogs and pretend they like these better than store bought dog biscuits.
(adapted from this recipe)