Thursday, 19 July 2018

Scribble Picnic - Hot Dog

This week, the prompt for Scribble Picnic is HOT DOG.

My eldest son and I brainstormed on this one and I ended up going with the following....thanks, Bradley! 

On hot summer days, THIS particular 'hot dog' likes to to go for a relaxing time at the pool. He loves going for a dip in the water to cool down. 

First a rough sketch with pencils 

And the end result 

To see what my fellow Scribblers have come up with for this week, click HERE

Michael has opted to put the Scribble Picnic co-op on hold for the moment.  He will be back with a further announcement on August 22nd. Stay tuned...

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Scribble Picnic - Stars

Time ran away from me again this week so it will be a quick post and run for now.

This week's prompt for Scribble Picnic is STARS. 

I was thinking of the Don McLean song 'Vincent' where part of the lyrics are 

Starry, starry night, 
Paint your palette blue and grey 

SO, a starry night sky was in order. I will admit that this was my third attempt as I've never done a night sky in watercolours before. I have done a few in acrylics with reasonable results but that's it.

To see what my fellow Scribblers have done for the prompt this week, click HERE
To find out how to join us each week, click HERE.

In keeping with my thought process for the prompt this week, I've included the music video clip of the song - Vincent. Enjoy!

See you next week at the picnic!

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Moment Sketchers weekend - Foxtail Palm

Hi everyone, 

Due to varying reasons at the time, I've missed a few Moment Sketchers weekends this year. The last one I participated in was back in February and I can't recall if I posted it to my blog or not. However, I did post it to Instagram so, for those of you who don't follow my Instagram feed, here it is - 

Aaron, Bradley and I had taken a trip up to Mount Tamborine and went to a lovely Japanese-themed Gardens while we were there. I sat and sketched this little bridge.


This weekend, I have been stuck indoors due to a bout of asthma.   We've had rain for a few days and the cold winter air always goes straight for my lungs — the moisture in the air from the rain made it worse. 

SO, I didn't want to miss another Moment Sketchers so I opted to sketch the Foxtail Palm — botanical name is Wodyetia bifurcata — in our back garden. 

Sketched directly with watercolours first 

Then added some ink using an XS Faber-Castell PITT pen

I felt like it needed something else so I penciled in the back fence. I think I will leave it at that.

Moment Sketchers is a worldwide online art challenge that happens during the first full weekend of every month. This wonderful co-op is hosted by Candace Rardon. To find out more about the Moment Sketchers group, click HERE. It is open to all so do think about joining us each month. Candace is an amazing artist and storyteller — you can check out her blog HERE.

Hope to see you there in August.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

My New Love

A few months ago I treated myself to a Kindle Paperwhite and I am now an eBook convert! 

I LOVE my Kindle! 

Without a doubt, I will always love traditional books but there is a lot to be said for eBooks too.

I can basically carry a library around in my bag. The Kindle Paperwhite is lightweight, comfortable to hold, better for the environment, eBooks are cheaper, and I don't have to worry about glare that can occur with my Galaxy Note 8 or iPad. That said, the Kindle app for Smartphones, computers or tablets is wonderful in that you can see pictures and book covers in colour. The Kindle app also gives you the option to change background colours. Another thing I love which is offered in the Kindle and the Kindle app is that I can choose a font style as well as enlarge it — a definite bonus for these old eyes. hehe 

Amazon offers tons of great Kindle eBook specials so my library is fast expanding. Like my taste in music, I have a broad range of likes in book genres. I enjoy reading memoirs, true stories, thrillers, horrors, crime series, information books, etc.

Since buying my Kindle Paperwhite I have read 24 books in just three months! That would be a record for me. I've detailed a couple of recent books below.

One of the first books read on my Kindle — Even Silence has an End by Ingrid Betancourt.
A real life account told by Ingrid Betancourt, a Columbian politician, who was kidnapped in 2002 by FARC — a terrorist guerrilla organisationIngrid was held hostage for SIX years! The conditions that she and fellow hostages lived under in the Columbian jungle were deplorable. How they survived at all is a miracle. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

I recently completed — Never Stop Walking by Christina Rickarddson (see below).
Parts of this book still stay in my mind — heart-wrenching in areas. It follows the real life account of young Christina who lived on the streets with her mother and younger brother until she was eight years old when she and her brother were adopted by a couple in Sweden. Christina shares her memories of what life was like as a child living in extreme poverty in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well as sharing parts of her life in Sweden. She recounts her experience when, as an adult, she returns to Brazil in search of her biological mother. Some parts of Christina's story are very hard to read but I find it hard to condemn a starving child for making a spur of moment decision that led to bloodshed and the loss of life all over a scrap of food.

I also wasn't aware that, even in recent years, police death squads in areas of Brazil search the streets at night looking for 'rats' — rats being a term used for street kids. They actually catch and kill these poor, defenceless kids! Some of these kids are under the age of five. They call it social cleansing — I call it a crime against humanity! I am horrified that humans can commit such atrocities against their own kind, especially innocent children. It's bad enough what humans do to animals.

Christina does a lot of soul-searching in her book trying to meld her childhood in Brazil with the privileged one she came to know in Sweden. I gave this one 5 stars on Goodreads.

A Kindle page from Christina's book

I have also been reading a couple of detective series. One written by Patricia Gibney following Detective Lottie Parker set in Ireland and the other by Robert Bryndza following Detective Erika Foster set in the UK.

Expect to see more reviews in the future...

Feel free to share any of your own book recommendations in the comments.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Scribble Picnic - Crunchy

A quick post and run this week as I have a busy day ahead....

This week's theme for Scribble Picnic is CRUNCHY

First layer of watercolour with a little INKtense pencil

And the end result.  I could have fiddled about with it some more but time is limited today. 

To check out what my fellow Scribbler's have done for this week, click HERE.
To find out how to join us each week at our picnic, click HERE
We are having a break next week for the US Fourth of July celebrations but the prompt for the following week will be STARS. See you there.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Scribble Picnic - Plump

Hi everyone!

I'm so sorry that I've been absent for the past two Scribble Picnics. Two weeks ago I was in quite a lot of pain after having an upper molar extracted.  The tooth put up one heck of a fight so my gums were very tender and bruised for longer than usual. In fact, I'm still not fully recovered. I'm not a fan of getting dental work done at the best of times but that had to be the worst tooth extraction I've ever experienced! I thought they had broken my jaw at one point after there was a heap of pressure and force, then a loud CRACK! They assured me it was just the tooth coming away from the bone but I'd never had that happen with previous extractions.

I had intended to do last week's THREE colour option for the picnic but it turned out to be an extra busy week and time got away from me. Such a shame because I was really keen to try that one — I hope Michael will consider giving it another go-round or I may just do it anyways and slip it into a future post.

This week's prompt was 'PLUMP' and I couldn't get past thinking about the row of five Money Plants (aka Crassula Ovata or Jade Plants) lined up along the front entrance to our home.  They are quite mature now with thick tree like shapes.

Their leaves are thick and 'plump'.

I sketched it directly with watercolours and a paintbrush

Some pen detailing and more shadow work to add some depth

And the finished page in my sketchbook

To see what my fellow Scribblers have done for this week, click HERE.
To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE.
Next week's prompt is CRUNCHY — see you at the picnic!

Saturday, 26 May 2018

A late Mother's Day post

May has turned out to be quite a busy month!

I hope all you Mums had a lovely Mother's Day — I sure did!

My sons, Bradley, Aaron, Beau, and Beau's partner, David, went to Forest Lake for a nice morning tea and a walk around the lake. Left to Right - Me, Aaron, Bradley, and David.

As David is also a keen sketcher, we looked for a nice spot to sit and sketch the view. This was Davids first time sketching on location.  He really enjoyed it and is keen to get out on more sketch outings. YAY — I have a sketching buddy!  The Groodle is Beau's dog, Bobby. He is so sweet and loves going on outings too. Bobby doesn't like Beau to get too far out of his sight.

I sketched directly with my Carbon Platinum fountain pen and added a splash of watercolour.
Here are my efforts -

It was great to be back out again on-location sketching — I think it's been a few months since I was last out and about sketching. This was as far as I got with it. I may do a little more to finish it off but, sometimes, it's just nice to leave things simple.

And that was my Mother's Day. I had a great day spent with loved ones. The weather was perfect and my hip even behaved itself although I did suffer later with pain — it was worth it.


This month has been filled with doctors' appointments and tests either for myself or for Bradley.

As I'm still limping about after that fall back in October 2016, my doctor decided to order another X-ray and Ultrasound of my hip — previously done in early August 2017. Results showed that the partial tear in the Gluteus Medius tendon has still not healed. He is referring me to an Orthopaedic specialist.

Then I needed a procedure in the way of a Endoscopy and Colonoscopy on Monday just gone.  I will get the results in a week or so. My throat is still a little tender from the Endoscopy but that's normal after the procedure.


I have been wanting to make Vegan Cauliflower Hot & Spicy Wings for ages and finally got around to doing them. They were delicious with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Veganaise (vegan mayo). 

I will definitely be making them again. YUM!

And that ends today's post. I'm hoping to get back into a regular post habit - at least three times a week.

So stay tuned...

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Scribble Picnic - Storm

Hi everyone,

This week's prompt for Scribble Picnic is STORM.

I had a few ideas but couldn't get past the 'Storm in a Teacup' phrase so I decided to attempt a quick ink and watercolour interpretation. I wonder if anyone else was on the same wavelength this week?

To check out the other STORM interpretations, click HERE.
To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE.

Our humble leader has given us the next two weeks off but we will be picnicking again on June 6th with the prompt being CLASSIC!  See you there — if I'm not in too much discomfort that is because I have a molar extraction on June 6th, possibly a wisdom tooth too. Wish me luck.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Scribble Picnic - Strawberry

Hi everyone,

This week's Scribble Picnic prompt is STRAWBERRY

I was feeling very drained yesterday — maybe the wisdom tooth extraction and a busy week caught up with me — so I very nearly was going to opt out of this week's picnic. I woke up just after 4am this morning and thought — NO! It's not too late to do something — so I quickly got this underway before getting ready to head off for an appointment. 

I was thinking Strawberry Farm as what child doesn't love to go strawberry-picking, right? I've been to the Strawberry Farm a few times with my Granddaughters and they were always so excited to pick their own strawberries. My sketch was inspired by one of the many photos taken from those times.

Yes, it's another work-in-progress but I did at least slap some colour down. 

A quick pencil sketch to start me off -

And the first pass with watercolours - 

Stay tuned for the end result, hopefully later today — that is if I don't botch it up. 

To see what my Picnic pals have been up to this week, click HERE
To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE
Next week's prompt is STORM. It sounds like we will need to bring our raincoats or brollies to that one. hehe See you there.

P.S. - I'm so sorry I didn't get a chance to get around to comment on the entries for last week but I promise to check in on those when I comment at your blogs/Insta for this week's treasures.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Scribble Picnic - Picket Fence

Hi everyone,

I'm a tad late to the picnic this week. The prompt was PICKET FENCE and a work-in-progress is all I have to show for it.  It's been a busy week.

So here are my efforts so far — Two Superb Fairy Wrens on a picket fence. They are done in my Strathmore Tan paper sketchbook with pen and white coloured pencil at this stage. More to come at a later date...

To see what my fellow Scribblers have been up to this week, click HERE.
To join in on the fun each week, click HERE to find out how.

I am having a wisdom tooth extracted tomorrow. Wish me luck...I've never had a wisdom tooth out before so I'm a little nervous.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Scribble Picnic - Quilt

Hi everyone,

Another busy week has passed which included getting an MRI of my brain among other tests after I had pressure inside my head and numbness on my face for over a week — all on the left side. Headaches and a sudden spike in blood pressure too. Results were all clear, thank goodness! The pressure and numbness have now eased. I'm a walking enigma or should I say — limping enigma? haha 

So, getting on with business, the prompt for this weeks Scribble Picnic is QUILT/S.

Many many moons ago, when I worked mainly with acrylic paints on MDF, I painted Baby Birth Plaques. Each plaque was unique in design featuring the birth details of baby.  I would often add a baby sleeping under a quilt so I went with that idea for the prompt.

First the pen sketch

Then a layer of watercolour

And finished up with some pen-work

As an afterthought, I thought you might like to see the one and only quilt I have ever designed and made by sewing machine. It was for my first Grandchild's cot — a girl.

To see what other picnic-goers have been up to this week, click HERE.
The prompt for next week will be PICKET FENCE.
See you there.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Scribble Picnic - Pyjamas

Hi everyone,

This weeks prompt for Scribble Picnic is PYJAMAS.

I knew I wanted to do a little animal character and, as I love pigs, this little guy won out. He is not only super excited to be wearing his new pyjamas to bed but also because his Mum made a matching pair for his little teddy friend.

This is where I'm at for now — just a quick pencil sketch from imagination. It may change when it get to the ink and watercolour part but stay tuned to see the end result.

To see what my fellow scribblers are up to for this weeks picnic, click HERE.
To find out how to join in on the weekly fun, click HERE.
Next week's prompt is QUILT/S but as Michael is going away for a week or so, it has been postponed to the 25th.  See you then.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Tuesday round-up

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to get back into the flow of regular blogging where I want to get back to posting bits and bobs of my life, not just my sketchbooks. I miss doing that.

So for starters, meet some of our feathered family -

Chico — formerly known as Phoenix — likes to snooze in my studio while I work.

And below are the awesome foursome! I won't tell you all their names because my son changed their names that many times, I've lost track. However I still call the green budgie, Jacob. He is the second eldest at around 9 years old. The blue one, Malik, is our eldest boy at 10 years old. That's very good going for budgies in captivity. Our vet said to keep on doing whatever we're doing. They are a happy bunch and love their mini-aviary.

Since becoming vegan, I have to say that I'm not overly comfortable owning birds in captivity. That said, these lovelies were here before I became vegan so not much I can do about that now plus I do love them.  They are very well cared for and they pretty much have the run of the house throughout the day as we open their cage roofs of a morning. They are all hand-tamed. I know there are differing opinions on this but, yes, my son does clip some of their flight feathers purely for their own safety. They can still fly, just not high enough or too fast where they can injure themselves on ceiling fans, walls, or glass doors. It is much safer for them and they still get to exercise.

We also get daily visits from the Butcherbirds who I'm sure would love to have our birds for supper. When our birds get noisy chattering, a Butcherbird will sometimes perch on the fence looking in through the window. They are aggressive predators feasting on insects, lizards, and small animals including birds. They have been known to hook and pull a small bird from its cage. They are called Butcherbirds because they often impale their victims against fences or tree limbs to render them helpless. Butcherbirds are native to Australia and protected by law.

The one pictured below is a juvenile Grey Butcherbird which perched on the fence outside my studio as it could hear Chico chirping. The adults have a black crown and face, with a white collar. Their wings also dark grey rather than brown.  (Sorry, not a great photo as it was taken from behind a security fly-screen.)

And the beauty below is of the fin variety, not feathered.  He is my son's Siamese Fighting fish also known as a Betta fish. This one is a Crown-tail Betta. I must sketch him one day.


I've been trying to get back into regular sketching and, back in mid-February, I signed up to Sktchy to draw a daily face....then the pain and depression hit so no sketching. I plan to do ALL the faces in order and yesterdays efforts are below. Reference Image is Adam Vitry, another Sktchy artist/member.  I sketched him with a purple pencil and a purple ballpoint pen...not quite finished yet. I'm going to experiment more as I go along.

On a sad note, today marks three years since my Dad's passing. 
Still miss him every day.
Love you, Dad xo

That's it from me for today. 
See you tomorrow for Scribble Picnic. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

It's been a while...

I can hardly believe that the last time I posted was back on February 22nd!

Truth be told, I've had a rough month of pain which led to a bit of depression — mostly me feeling sorry for myself and having a pity party at feeling so debilitated. My back, hip, and leg pains are still plaguing me but I'm trying to pick myself up and carry on regardless. Even March being my birthday month wasn't enough to pull me out of the doldrums. And I was actually looking forward to turning 59 on the 23rd as it also marked the year I was born - '59. In the interim, I decided to update my blog a little with a new header image and profile pic.

I have definitely missed Scribble Picnic even though I've not had the urge to sketch since I last blogged. I must apologise to all my fellow Scribble Picnic pals as I've been very lax at commenting and following up on everyone's sketches during my unplanned break. I hope to do better.

So, this week's prompt was WATERING CAN. My imagination ran a little wild but I figured you don't often see a giraffe watering can — so why not?!  More decorative, than practical, but if you look closely you will see the holes on his nose for the water spray.

To see what my fellow Scribblers have been up to for this week, click HERE
To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE
Next weeks prompt is PYJAMAS...see you then.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Scribble Picnic - Fill in the Blank

This week's prompt was a 'Fill in the blank' which was basically to use a stumpy rectangle.

This is my take...I thought of glasses from the beginning in a variety of ways but this little critter won out. I guess his camera could pass for the prompt too.

First the pen sketch 

A couple of watercolour layers to build colour

Then some Prismacolor pencils and a Posca paint marker for highlights to finish him

To see what the other Scribblers have done for this week, click HERE.
To find out how to join us each week, click HERE.
Next week's prompt is 'One of a kind'....see you at the picnic!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Scribble Picnic - Mushy

What a week it has been so far! We have had very hot, humid days which are typical of our summer but, as we don't have an air-conditioner, we suffer temps around 38°C/100.4°F.  We've had some very nasty super-cell storms move through the past few nights one of which caused widespread damage...over 100,000 homes in our region lost power for between 12 to 48 hours. Power-lines and trees were down all over the place...debris everywhere. It was scary and reminded me of a cyclone. I feel so grateful that we at least did not lose power.

I had to bring my Mum over to our place for a day as she'd lost power and phone which she needs for her Medic-alert. She was without both for 24 hours.

On top of that, the unbearable humidity caused sauna-like conditions and flared up my asthma...add to that my wisdom tooth which also decided I was due a painful infection at this time. Needless to say,  it has not been a pleasant week at all.  I am now on antibiotics. And yes, I'm still dealing with chronic back and hip pain....somebody, just recycle me, or shut me up now! haha

More dangerous storms are expected this evening so I'm getting this post in early...just in case we lose power.

After all that, I did manage this week's Scribble Picnic sketch, albeit a very quick one.

The prompt was 'MUSHY' and, for the life of me, I just couldn't get mushy peas out of my head. English-style mushy peas are a favourite of cooked from the dried whole peas. YUMMY!

Here is my take....

To see what my fellow Picnic pals have done this week, click HERE.
To find out how to join us each week, click HERE.
Next week, we have a 'Fill in the blank' prompt...can't wait to see what it is.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Scribble Picnic - Let's Dance

Hi everyone,

This week's Scribble Picnic prompt was LET'S DANCE!

I had a few ideas come to mind but the one that stuck in my head was 'flamingos dancing' and that's what I went with. This one was fun and also a little tedious as I tried to figure out how I was going to manage those wings. I could see the end result in my head but transferring it to paper was not as easy.

This week, I used my Strathmore Grey-toned sketchbook.

First a rough pen sketch with a hint of colour with Prismacolor pencils. You can see where I kinda wrecked her shoe but, when working in pen, you just have to go with it and learn to love the mistakes. They add character, right?

Another layer of colour with watercolours

Another layer with more details in black ink and white highlights to finish off.  Now, this dazzling couple are ready to hit the dance floor. Don't you just love his socks? haha And I think I managed a pretty good 'save' with her shoe too, don't you think?

To see what the other Scribblers have done for the picnic this week, click HERE.
To find out how you can join in on the fun each week, click HERE.
Next week's prompt is MUSHY! I have one idea straight off the bat but not sure if I'll go with it yet. How about you?

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Scribble Picnic - Spicy

This week's Scribble Picnic prompt is SPICY!

I absolutely adore hot, spicy food — Mexican, Indian, Asian — just love it!

How about you? Do you ever have a yearning for food that will have your mouth on fire, your nose running, and tears streaming down your face?

When I first turned my attention to this week's prompt, the following image came to mind and I knew it had to be the one.

Tabasco sauce being the 'spicy' part. All this time, I had thought that Tabasco sauce was Mexican but, in fact, it was created in Avery Island, Louisiana, by Edmund McIlhenny. He was granted the patent for it in 1870. While it wasn't created in Mexico, this hot spicy number was named after Tabasco peppers which were named after the Mexican state of Tabasco.

A rough sketch to start with

The end result - A mix of watercolours, ballpoint, and Prismacolor pencils in a Strathmore Tan-toned sketchbook.

To see what my fellow picnickers have done for this week, click HERE.
To find out how to join us each week, click HERE.

I was too late to get on the Linky gadget last week but, for those of you who don't follow my Instagram feed, here was my late entry for TABLECLOTH.

I wonder what Michael has in store for us next week? See you at the picnic!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Scribble Picnic - Hot Chocolate

The Scribble Picnic prompt for this week is HOT CHOCOLATE.

I usually make quite a few hot chocolate drinks during our winter months. There's just something about that mug of hot sweetness that make me feel spoiled, cosy, and warm. I never have marshmallows in mine though. I hate the thought of hot, gooey marshmallow. Ewwww!  Definitely not for me. I've never had toasted marshmallows around a campfire either for the same reason.

Marshmallows have always been a favourite but I like them nice and firm....not hot and gooey. I used to make them and roll them in toasted coconut.  They even have vegan marshmallows now so I don't miss out but — back to hot chocolate. I make mine with Cadburys Drinking Chocolate powder, a dash of vanilla essence, and soy milk mixed together in a saucepan. When hot enough, I froth it up with the electric hand mixer. After pouring it into our mugs, I drizzle chocolate syrup over the froth. OH, so yummy!

My sketch today is done with ink, watercolour, and Prismacolor pencils using a copyright-free image which I altered somewhat...

To see what other participants have put up for this week, click HERE.
To find out how to join in each week, click HERE.

The drink was actually NOT the first HOT CHOCOLATE that came to mind but I didn't get time to sketch them. Who remembers the Hot Chocolate group in the late 70's and 80's?   Songs like You Sexy Thing, Every 1's a Winner, So You Win Again, Emma and....It Started with a Kiss....

Thought I'd end off this post with one of their video clips. Enjoy!

Next week's prompt is TABLE CLOTH...see you at the picnic!
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