Monday 28 March 2011

mind your morels and more

at the end of last year, i noticed these weird looking things growing in the soil just outside my back door.

i'd never seen anything like them before and they looked totally alien to me but i knew they had to be some type of fungi.  so, after some research on Google, i found out that they are called 'morel mushrooms' and this particular type is called 'morchella esculenta'. apparently, these mushrooms are highly prized in the culinary world....who knew??   i'm not sure i would ever eat them as they look freaky to me, however, some people actually go out hunting for them.

i did a quick pencil free sketch in my pocket moleskine watercolour notebook

using black pigment ink pen and watercolour

and look who is 3½ months old now...

Mikayla Rose!

it was my birthday on wednesday and i got to spend most of the day with Michelle and Mikayla as it was our regular shopping day.  Michelle treated me to a delicious Subway lunch and i also received a free muffin from Muffin Break and a free Boost juice on my frequent customer cards. YAY!

it's hard to describe just how much love i feel for this little munchkin....but it's definitely GIANORMOUS!!!
my heart just swells with love when she's around

my self-portrait pic for week 12 of my 52 weeks of me challenge

i had a little play in Corel Paintshop Photo Pro X3
 i hope you are all in for a glorious week!

~ love, light and peace ~

Tuesday 22 March 2011

toadstool inspiration, more sketching & self-portrait

as it turned out, i was sick on St. Paddy's Day topped off with a migraine which had me lying on my bed feeling very sorry for myself for most of the day.  hence my self-portrait for week 11 (52 weeks of me) - a photo of me, lying on my bed, sick and feeling sorry for myself.

funny thing was that, even though i was sick, i was itching to sketch!
i had taken this photo of two toadstools early that morning before i felt sick.

so delicate and fine

and they became the subject for a quick sketch

again, no pencil....just an ink pen and some watercolour in my pocket Moleskine watercolour journal

i found it quite therapeutic too

we had some light rain recently so, a few days later, i found even more toadstool inspiration

i wonder if any fairies sheltered beneath them overnight?

it was kinda sad to see them wilt away to nothing when the heat of the day set in

i also managed another sketch for the Julia Kay Portrait Party Flickr group

drawn freehand using F, 3B and 6B graphite pencils in my Moleskine large sketchbook
Reference image here.
Erica's Photostream here.
Julia Kay Portrait Party here.

i've also been busy trying to finish up my last official 'Pay It Forward' gift and, after that, i still have an unofficial one to do.  thanks so much for your patience, Norma and Nicole.

i hope you are all enjoying a beautiful week!

~ love, light and peace ~

Friday 18 March 2011

some dragonfly inspiration

despite feeling out of sorts this past week or so, i still managed some sketching time

i dragged out one of my older sketchbooks for a dragonfly reference

and set about creating a new page in my sketchbook
ink pen & watercolour in A5 sketchbook - pencil free

i have felt so inspired to sketch more since taking Alisa's class

a few days after this sketch, i was outside taking photos of my Bird of Paradise flowers when i noticed this beautiful dragonfly resting on one of them. i strengthened the colours a little in Paintshop Photo Pro for this image.  he was truly spectacular!

he was so cooperative too as he allowed me to get quite close

Dragonfly medicine teaches us to pierce through our self-created illusions and reminds us to let our colours shine by using the light within.

now....if you have a fear of snakes (Janet, pay heed).... 

we had a morning visitor at our back fence a couple of days ago

thankfully, he was a Common Tree Snake so non-venomous

it was sunning itself which is typical during snake season and we think this one may have been shedding too. Beau, my son, took these photos as he had the longer zoom lens on his camera although still a little blurry because of the distance.  the snake would have fled if we had tried to get close.

just last month, i nearly walked upon a red-bellied black snake which IS venomous.  Michelle and i were walking the back path to collect Aaron from school one afternoon when, suddenly, Michelle grabbed my arm and pulled me back.  a red-bellied black snake lay just up ahead on the path sunning itself.  of all days for me to leave my camera at home!  i think it was more afraid of us than we were of it though as it quickly fled into the long grass the moment it spotted us. red-bellied black snakes are non-aggressive and will always try to flee....they will only bite if they feel cornered with no way out.  their bites can be deadly if untreated.  sadly, my sister lost one of her small dogs to a red-bellied black snake which had found its way into their backyard last year.  Angel and their other small dog would have naturally been curious and protective of their yard against the intruder but, unfortunately, Angel paid for it with her life. the snake had bitten both dogs and they rushed them to the vet but, while the vet managed to save one, the venom had advanced too far for them to save Angel.   i remember crying for days just thinking about it....Angel was such a beautiful, little dog.
on a brighter note, i made this carrot cake with cream cheese icing last weekend for Michelle's birthday.


it's time for me to go get Aaron up for school so i'll finish off here.

i'll be back over the coming days with more inspiration

~ love, light and peace~

Friday 11 March 2011

self portrait catch up - 52 weeks of me

i had a terrible migraine last night and i'm still feeling a little out of it today so please forgive me if i say anything that doesn't quite make sense.

how has your week been?
i have been fitting in some sketching time so i'll post some over the coming days.

today, i mainly wanted to focus on catching up with my self-portraits.
i had taken them.  i just hadn't uploaded them to my blog so here they are....

i used this pic in my blog banner


i recently bought Corel Paintshop Photo Pro X3 so played a little with the features this morning. a nifty little plug-in called Time Machine ages images so i set this one for 1875. a bit of a contradiction considering i'm sitting at a modern day computer.

i thought a photo of Mikayla would look super cute in the same year

i'll be back tomorrow with, hopefully, a clear head

~ love, light and peace ~

Tuesday 8 March 2011

going nuts!

this was a shape study I did in ink pen and watercolour crayons

i am thoroughly enjoying the process of working directly in ink pen

i used one of the reference images i photographed back in 2009

the idea of placing colour swatch boxes on the page is very appealing to me

i have felt so inspired since taking Alisa Burke's Sketchbook Delight class

it's like a lightbulb has turned on and i am seeing with new eyes. everything i see is now a possible sketch subject. i was so picky before.

The nut does not reveal the tree it contains.
- Proverb from ancient Egypt

~ Love, light and peace ~

Friday 4 March 2011

she sells seashells by the seashore

i adore seashells!

for years i used to collect them every time we went to the beach

actually, i'm surprised i haven't sketched any shells before now

inspired by Alisa Burke's online Sketchbook Delight class, i finally gave some of my shells a place in my sketchbook. this week's class was about using line to shade with pen.

i sketched all these shells using an ink pen only

for me, there's something freeing about putting pen directly to paper rather than using pencil first

i used a uniball white pen for some of the highlighted areas which gave an interesting cast over the black pen

"I do not know what I may appear to the world but, to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy, playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier seashell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - - Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

 ~ love, light and peace ~