Monday 28 June 2021

sketches and drone delivery

This is the latest page spread from my pocket sketchbook. 
I had sketched the pizza and garlic bread in ink on Saturday and, yesterday, I thought I'd sketch Liz Steel while watching her Live-stream from her Edges class. I took the class a few years back but, now and then, Liz does a run-through with her classes and the Live-streams are a great bonus. Liz is one of those teachers who goes the extra mile for her students. Great teacher, great personality. I enjoy her classes a lot.

Liz's Live-stream this morning showed her sketching a Stanley knife (box-cutter) and, seeing as how mine has been getting quite a work-out of late, I decided to add it to my page spread. We've been getting lots of deliveries over the past few months and this knife is my favourite tool for cutting the boxes into pieces for the recycle bin. 

OH, and the following monstrosity is my foot. lol I'm giving myself some leeway here as I did this sketch in an almost dark room while we were watching a movie on TV. We like to watch movies with the lights off. The proportions are way out but it does resemble a foot at least.


After mentioning about drone deliveries in my last post, Aaron (youngest son) decided to give the service a try. He signed up and they offered a complimentary delivery of Tim-Tams (chocolate biscuits/cookies) - free of charge. 

Order placed and we were told it would be just over 4 minutes for delivery. It actually arrived in just over 2 minutes. No kidding.

We'd had rain and it was a very cloudy, dull day so please forgive the dull photos. 

And here it comes...

It arrived overhead and we could see the package tucked up under the belly of the drone.

The drone lowered the package.

Below - The eagle has landed!

The drone automatically unclipped the package, 
wound up the cord and flew away.  
This process only took seconds from the time of its arrival.

Here is a close-up of the package. 
Tim-Tams AND a bottled water inside.

We were impressed with how fast the service was. This has been our only drone delivery so far and I wouldn't rule out any more. Our neighbours a few doors up have been getting drone deliveries also. Surprisingly, the drone was not as loud as I thought it would be. 

I love when Kya curls up in a doughnut shape beside me. 
Too cute!

The Delta strain of Covid has been identified in Australia, via people returning from overseas and in quarantine. Some areas in NSW are in lock-down and Queensland is now on restrictions where masks are mandated for 2 weeks. We have already been social distancing, sanitising, and using QR codes at cafes/restaurants. Hopefully, this strain won't spread any further but we may face a lock-down also if any new cases arise in the community.
Stay safe everyone, 
Serena x

Wednesday 23 June 2021

rose drawing and happenings

Another week has flown by. This winter has not been kind to me as far as my asthma goes. Cold, winter air is a big trigger for my asthma and I had another bout of Asthmatic Bronchitis, though not quite as bad as the previous one. Poor Aaron has been sick with flu and his brother Beau was also sick with flu...negative on the Covid test. Phew! 

I thought I might have been getting their flu too but was spared a severe dose, probably thanks to the annual flu shot and taking cold medication as soon as the first sniffle appeared. 'Nip it in the bud' as my ex used to say.

This is another graphite drawing I did in January, back when I was on a roll. I used charcoal for the background. 
And below was the graphite drawing I did before adding the background and a bit more detailing.  I love how the dark background made the rose pop. 
The reference image credit goes to Karsten Paulick on Pixabay. A direct link to his photograph can be seen HERE. Thank you, Karsten...much appreciated. 
You may remember this Sumi ink painting of daisies I did back in 2017 for INKtober. I think I might try painting the rose above in Sumi ink also.
Over the past few months, I've been hearing a lot of buzzing/whirring from the sky...kinda like a remote controlled car.  Earlier today, I snapped a rather fuzzy pic of the culprit. It was some distance away. A commercial drone!
After further investigation, I discovered that our area now uses commercial drone delivery! Cool! Apparently, commercial drone deliveries are only active in our area (Logan) and Canberra, as far as Australia is concerned. Do you get drone deliveries in your area? The company hopes to expand which could well happen as it seems to be quite popular around here. You can order coffee/tea/hot chocolate drinks, snacks, hardware, hair products, clothing, pet products, and even some grocery items, long as it weighs 1.2kg (2lb 10oz) or less. You can learn more about commercial drone deliveries HERE. I wonder what the delivery costs are?

Another thing I saw in the sky recently was a cloud funnel. I get a kick out of seeing stuff like that so ran for my phone to take a pic.

Apparently, a cloud funnel is made up of condensed water droplets, associated with a rotating column of wind and extending from the base of a cloud but not reaching the ground or a water surface. Interesting!

To end this post, here is a pic of sleepy Kya wondering what that thing is that I'm always pointing at her.

Her look makes me think of the following meme that circulated around social media ages ago. So Kya's case anyway. lol To be fair, she is the perfect cat 99.5% of the time.

Will post again soon, 

Serena x

Tuesday 15 June 2021

my bullet journal set-up and a hummingbird drawing

For many years, I tried to maintain shop-bought planners/diaries but I would always fizzle out by the time I got to March or April. Then back in 2015, my friend Rita, mentioned Bullet Journals and I was hooked. The Bullet Journal has been the only planner that I have stayed with religiously. Maybe because I can tailor it to my own needs, and chop and change things up, as desired. I like to use stick-in tabs to quickly access the section I want.

For the most part, I stick to a the basic layout similar to what Ryder Carroll recommended. Ryder is the creator of the original Bullet Journal method and you can see a short video on his original method HERE. Bullet journaling then became a phenomenon where it gathered a huge following on YouTube and Instagram. It was warped into something very decorative and, in my view, time-consuming...not what Ryder intended. Like him, I wanted simple all the way without all the glam. He uses an index, I don't, as I find tabs easier to work with.

So I thought you might like to see my basic formula and what works for me. I love setting up each month as it comes, deciding which format that month will take. I flit back and forth between vertical columns and horizontal layout for my daily task lists and entries.

At the start of a new year, I draw up pages containing vertical columns for each month. Here I keep important dates such as birthdays and appointments which can be transferred across to the monthly/daily pages. 

Then, I follow with my Tracker pages (below). Some people like to do their Trackers beside each month in their journals but I prefer to have them altogether where I can compare, side-by-side, at a glance. These are not necessary to the Bullet Journal method but are helpful if you are trying to get into regular habits.

Then, I follow with my Monthly To-Do notes OR commonly referred to as Future logs (below). Here I will add tasks for upcoming months that I haven't drawn up yet. They are then transferred to that month when it is drawn up. 

Then I have my annual Books Read/Completed pages (below). I love to read and I like to keep track of what I've read, month to month. On average, I read 5 books per month.

Then I follow with my annual Donations pages (below). I'm big on supporting Farm Animal Sanctuaries among other things. 

Note, that not all of the above sections are necessary to the Bullet Journal method. It's an entirely personal and different set-up for everyone. You tailor it to suit your own needs. 

After the annual pages are set up, I just work month-to-month. As one month nears to a close, I set up the new month. 

I start with the Month view which I have in three sections. I log things relating to the Personal/General, Creative, or Finance columns. This includes appointments and birthdays in the personal/general section.

Then, I follow with Gratitude and Quotes pages (below). I like to keep track of quotes that make an impression on me that particular month.

Then comes the Brain Dump and Check-in pages. Brain Dump is for notes on anything that may crop up that month, that I don't want to forget. Or just info that I may find useful at a later date..quick notes. 

Check-in relates to how I'm feeling at the beginning of the month, emotionally and physically. Plus mindfulness where I think about where I'm at spiritually and if I'm aligned with my beliefs etc.

From there, it's straight into each day as it comes. I sometimes do 2 days to a page using a vertical column for each day, e.g. below....or I split the page in half horizontally, so still 2 days to a page.  Occasionally, I will do one day to a page....see, no set format, just whatever suits my needs at the time. Daily tasks are always listed just under the day/date, then Notes from the day are below the tasks.

I love my Bullet Journal!


Now to my drawing. This cute little Hummingbird was drawn back in January using Graphite. 

Sincere thanks and credit goes to James Marvin Phelps, on Flickr, for the use of his image as my reference. Link to his original photo HERE.

And that ends my post for today. 
I hope you are all keeping safe and well. 
Serena x

Monday 7 June 2021

handicraft and sketches

Thank you all so much for the caring comments you left on my last post. I am so grateful to you all. Thanks for bearing with me. 

During my blogging break, I did manage to do some sketching and even some crochet. With the colder weather approaching, my son wanted me to crochet some doggy coats for Scarlett and Violet. We officially started our Winter on June 1st. 

Not an easy feat considering I have advanced Osteoarthritis in my hands causing chronic hand pain. I was just getting over a nasty arthritic flare but I do think working my hands helped a little.

Anyway, Violet is a tiny Chihuahua size and even the Extra Small winter coats in the shops were way too big for her.  So I made the girls 2 coats each, Scarlett has 2 different shades of pink coats, while Violet has 2 different shades of purple coats. I looked for a pattern online and had to make my own adjustments but you can check out the original pattern I used HERE. I mostly used the pattern for the neck, the rest I just winged it as I went, fitting them against the girls at different stages.

 Violet below

Scarlett below

Out for a morning walk. I even made hole area for the harness to fit through, something the shop-bought coats don't allow for. 

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't include a pic of precious Miss Kya doing what she does best...sleeping.

As for sketching —

I've had a pocket (14.5cm x10.5cm) sketchbook waiting to be finished so I did some daily Sketchnote-style entries of daily happenings. Just a few more pages left to finish it. I started this sketchbook in 2017. That's my problem — I always have more than one sketchbook on the go and, sometimes, one may be put on the back burner for longer than I'd like. Different sizes and paper. Some of the most recent pages, shown below..sorry if they're a bit blurry, must have moved when I snapped the pic. They may be rough, free-hand ink sketches but they capture the memories for me. I love looking back over my sketchbooks at a later date.

I've not long got over a pretty bad bout of Asthmatic Bronchitis. Cold, wintry air is one of my main triggers. Sometimes, a severe bout of asthma can turn into bronchitis....not fun at all....but I did get to rest and watch some series and movies on Prime/Netflix.

On that note, I will finish this post here. 

Wishing you all a beautiful, happy week! 

Serena x

Thursday 3 June 2021

Back to the drawing board

WOW! Where did 6 months go?! I last posted on November 30th last year. YIKES!

Actually, I think it's fair to say that I haven't been a very good blogger over the past few years. I haven't been very productive as an artist in that time either. 

It's always been the way that, when my emotions take a hit, it directly affects my output as an artist. My Dad passing away in 2015 was the start, then estrangement from a couple of my kids in 2016, followed by medical issues requiring surgery, more family members passing away from illness, and chronic pain issues. They have all played their part in keeping me from my art. I have felt great sadness, emotional pain, even depression during those times which can be quite debilitating on its own.
I thought I was getting back on track in November when I took up the Art Every Month Challenge and I was so proud of myself for completing it. However, I made the mistake of giving myself a week off and, as things are always hectic for me in December, the art routine got put on the back burner. 
I also watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix and became disillusioned with Social Media and took a step back there too. Have you seen it? I recently deleted my Facebook account which I rarely visited anyway. Twitter is one that I don't use often but it comes in handy for local events and traffic reports. Still in two minds about Instagram which I do love for inspiration but it doesn't have the more personal aspect that blogging has. I haven't posted there since October last year. I hate that they track my every move online. I guess Google does the same but I'm fairly reliant on Google.

I started my blog in December 2006 so I doubt I will ever let that go. It has been a joy for me to look back on over the years. A huge Thank You to those of you who have been following my blog long term and have still stayed despite my periods of absence in recent years. You are all treasures and very much appreciated.

I won't list the excuses for my most recent blog absence apart from saying that life got in the way and I took a step back from being online....well, when I have, it's only in very small doses. 
I hope to get back to more regular posting as I do miss blogging and my blog family. Sorry for the longer than expected break. 
Recently, I came across this amazing artist, Andrew Tischler. His speciality is Oils and his work is so realistic.  Andrew also recommends a regular drawing practice in graphite/charcoal to better your skills as an artist. I've added one of his videos below but, if it doesn't work, here is the direct link - Better Drawing with Andrew Tischler.

So, going back to the drawing board and feeling inspired, I got out my graphite pencils and drew this sweet little guinea pig. Graphite is really hard to photograph well so please forgive the image quality.
 My thanks and credit for the Reference Image I used goes to 
I will be back with more drawings in my next post but I thought you'd get a kick out of this quick, silly but fun, Pen sketch I did of 'me' for New Year. hehe

And an ink and wash sketch celebrating the birth of my nephew and his partner's baby girl. 
OH, and you probably already know that Google are stopping their Feedburner Email Subscriptions which means there will be no more Follow by Email options in Blogger. Bummer! The Followers gadget is okay but, as far as I know, you can only follow Blogger blogs? I have implemented Feedly which can follow blogs over various platforms like Wordpress, Squarespace, etc. OR, you could always add my blog to your Blog List on your sidebar if you want to see when I put up a new post. This is what I do also. 
I'm looking forward to catching up with you all over the coming weeks.

Take care and Happy Blogging!